June 16, 2016
For this week's Epstein Throwback Thursday we visit July, 1971 for the opening of the 60,000 square foot manufacturing facility for the Pierce & Stevens Chemical Corporation in Carol Stream, Illinois. This plant, which produced paints, coatings and adhesives for the graphic arts and book/magazine publishing industries, was located on an 11-acre site at 245 East Kehoe Boulevard, which was also serviced by a spur of the Illinois Central Railroad.
This building, for '71, was unique in that it was designed and engineered to be fully-sprinklered, a design element that is commonplace today but for the time was not found in many industrial buildings. Additionally, this Pierce & Stevens building was constructed of reinforced concrete and structural steel and also R&D research laboratories and included underground storage tanks for storing and processing the raw materials used in the production of chemicals.
Epstein designed and engineered this facility for ease of expansion as Pierce & Stevens, a company that was a subsidiary of Pratt & Lambert, Inc., was experiencing significant growth in the early 70s. In fact, Epstein was once again hired by Pierce & Stevens in the late 70s to design a new 20,000 square foot warehouse addition to the plant, an expansion that matched the original design and was connected to the main manufacturing portion of the facility. This expansion was constructed using structural steel frame, insulated metal wall panels and a metal roof deck. In addition, Epstein's architects and engineers also expanded the underground tank farm, made various process piping alterations and extensions to the truck court and spur onto the Illinois Central Railroad.
If you are curious Pierce & Stevens does not exist anymore. Pratt & Lambert was purchased by Sherwin-Williams in mid-90s and the Pierce & Stevens brand was then acquired by Sovereign Specialty Chemicals who were in 2004 bought by Henkel, a German-based adhesives company. (That's all for today's lesson I chemical corporation acquisition history) Henkel operated a branch out of the Epstein-designed Pierce & Stevens building until 2013, a facility that from Google Earth views looks to be in pretty good condition and still retains its late 60s/early 70s industrial design aesthetic.