From Merchandise Warehouse to Data Warehouse: 601 W. Polk


Marshall Field had the building built to warehouse furniture and other heavy merchandise for his State Street store.

Understandably, the structure at 601 West Polk was built like a fortress to accommodate the massive weight of merchandize and the horse and wagons that would cross its floors. Extra thick flooring and masonry walls along with 18 foot ceiling heights allowed the facility to shoulder the loads of heavy furniture, appliances and other goods that passed through the warehouse on their way to the city’s businesses and families.

When modern distribution systems came along, the building went dormant for several years being used occasionally as a set for filming television and movies.

Then in the 1990’s, new life was brought to the building when telecommunications provider Sprint constructed a network point within the facility. Shortly afterward, Adelphia Communications chose the building for a switch site serving the Chicago area.

The building at 601 Polk had been reborn as a “Carrier Hotel”, or telecommunications point for network service providers. Over time, AT&T, Verizon and other communications company would utilize the building for communications equipment and switch-gear. All this critical equipment required upgrades to the building and large sums were spent on infrastructure repair and remodeling. Multiple points of entry and extensive conduit runs were added to the structure. All of such platform connectivity remains a critical component of the structure and the operations carried on at 601 Polk today.

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Posted by on Jun 1st, 2013 and filed under Feature Story. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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