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1000 Washington Ave
The Merchandise Mart Apartments
Originally: Ligget and Myers/Rice-Stix Building
Architect: Isaac S. Taylor, 1888
The mighty Merchandise Mart is one of the greatest treasures of the Washington Avenue garment district. Hewn from massive rusticated blocks of granite at street level, with terra cotta details far above, this building holds a truly commanding position on the street, filling an entire city block. The scale of the building is truly immense. The sheer size of the granite blocks at street level boggles the imagination.
The great old warehouse was abandoned and unused through the 1990s, boarded up with dim prospects. However, renovation began in the summer of 2001. The building has been converted into 213 apartments, which began opening at the end of 2002. True to the building's scale, it's the largest residential project downtown in many years. The work was done by HRI, also responsible for the convention hotel at the old Statler just down the street;
it is the largest of numerous loft conversions that transfomed the avenue during the early 2000s.
The renovation of the Merchandise Mart was a watershed moment for Washington Avenue - if a building the size of the Merchandise Mart could come back, anything was possible.
Merchandise Mart Apartments web site
National Register of Historic Places nomination form
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