This week our Throwback Thursday series takes us back to July, 1959 for the opening of the new Office and Distribution Center for Capitol Wine and Liquor Company in Chicago. Located at the intersection of 34th and Artesia, this Epstein designed and engineered 75,000 square foot facility replaced Capitol's original inefficient multi-story building.
The Capitol building featured one of Epstein's typical mid-century modernist aesthetics featuring a sleek and well-detailed office wing constructed of brick, aluminum spandrels and glass, as well as a large open industrial volume that was climate controlled and ideally suited to the storage and distribution of spirits. In addition, this building featured six docks and mechanized distribution systems as well as new modern and air-conditioned office spaces the new Capitol building was a significant upgrade over their former operations.
This building also included a large auditorium capable of seating 100 of Capitol's salesmen, a sound proof product accounting room, a large conference room and spacious and light-filled executive offices.
Interestingly this Capitol building was the first project that the Central Manufacturing District, Chicago's trailblazing industrial park, financed and help build that was not located on CMD property.
Capitol no longer occupies this building but it still is being utilized. A company called Hinda Incentives, which offers employee reward and recognition programs, sales incentives, and loyalty marketing encouragement services, is now operating out of this facility at located at 2440 W. 34th Street. And from street views on Google it appears that much of the original Epstein architectural design has remained unchanged, although a less than elegant vinyl awning has been added and the iconic Capitol signage has been removed along the front entrance, which distracts from the overall clean lines and mid-century feel of the original elevation. But overall, this nearly 60 year old building looks pretty good and it's great to see the facility we designed still being a vibrant part of the Chicago business community.