Today’s Epstein Throwback Thursday takes us on a trip back to April 1961for the opening for the 41,000 square foot Bridgeport Brass Company Warehouse & Office located in Melrose Park, Illinois. Epstein was the architect and engineer for this simple, yet refined, example of mid-century design which was developed by the Central Manufacturing District, the world’s first industrial park, which had developments throughout Chicagoland.
The Melrose CMD ‘tract’ was 76-acres and Epstein was the CMD’s master planner and engineer for the entire Melrose Park development. Specifically, Epstein provided the CMD a land study for the tract, followed by the civil design of streets, underground utilities, railroad tracks and spurs. Then our architects and engineers would work with the CMD and specific owner-operators in the design of their facility, help with the solicitation of contracting bids and then supervise the construction.
One of the interesting features of the Bridgeport building was the requirement that all products used in the construction of the facility and all equipment specified for its operations be ‘All-American’ and manufactured in the United States.
This Bridgeport Brass building also featured a track rack crane to automate the handling and storage of brass strip, tube and bar stock.
This facility, which is located at 2045 N. 17th Avenue, is still in operation although not for Bridgeport Brass. It’s now a UniFirst building a company that provides work wear and textile services. This building looks similar to our original design, although there has been an expansion of the office space as well as the warehouse wing. This addition has taken some of the mid-century charm of the building away through a loss in proportions, but there are still some nice pockets of modernism left behind.