An Inspired Business Community
3636 South Iron Street | Chicago, IL 60609
773-733-0923 JOIN US →

Welcome to our Building!

36Squared’s beautifully maintained classic structure is inspiring a new generation of small businesses, start-ups, and entrepreneurs.
Our brick and timber lofts have high ceilings with large windows that provide lots of natural light, creating exciting work spaces in an energizing atmosphere.



  • 36Squared is located in the Central Manufacturing District (CMD), the oldest industrial park in the country.
  • The CMD straddles the South Branch of the Chicago River on the border of the Bridgeport and McKinley Park neighborhoods, an area once known as “Hardscrabble”.
  • Over the past 100+ years, the CMD was host to many names linked to Chicago’s history – names like Armour, Spiegel, Sears, Victor Gasket, and Swift, among others.
  • 36Squared is the latest iteration in a long line of successful businesses, invoking the spirit of a place where hard work leads to success.
  • Today, we’re focused on continuing that spirit by fostering start-ups, small businesses, and local enterprises.
The building’s rich history tells a story of innovation, imagination, iteration, evolution, and reinvention. Over 100+ years of operation, the building has been used for many different purposes, all the while it was lovingly maintained and operated. Today, the building is being repurposed yet again to meet the needs of Chicago’s dynamic business and economic conditions.



Victor Gasket Manufacturing builds 3636 S. Iron St. in the Central Manufacturing District

Built in 1915, the building became the manufacturing plant for Victor Gasket, located in the Central Manufacturing District (CMD). This plant manufactured the world’s first cylinder head gasket for the growing automobile industry.

Spiegel purchases the building

In 1947, Spiegel purchased the building to supplement other buildings they owned in the area. Spiegel used the building to fulfill orders from their growing mail order business.

Illinois Insulation and Construction purchases building as a distribution center

Illinois Insulation and Construction purchased the building in 1963, as a new distribution center after fire destroyed their headquarters on the far South Side.

Price Family purchases building to operate as headquarters for Price Family businesses

The Price Family purchased the building in 1981 to serve as a fabrication and distribution facility, and headquarters for the Price Family businesses until 1998. In 1998, the operating businesses were sold to Bay Industries of Green Bay, WI.

1998 -2007
Iron Studios Era – Artist Lofts

After the sale of the Prices operating businesses, the owners began to renovate the warehouse into artist lofts, under the name of “Iron Studios,” providing exhibition and arts-based rental spaces.

2007 -2015

After a large ISP inquired about operating a data center in the building, the Prices decided to pursue the growing need for data centers. With 35 years of experience in energy conservation, and a renewed interest in geothermal heating and cooling, the Prices embarked on converting the building to geothermal energy. Specialty insulation and fire suppression systems would further the goal of providing affordable, competitive data storage space. If completed, it would have been the first geothermal building in Chicago.

2015 -to this day

After shelving plans for the geothermal energy system and data center during the financial crisis, the Prices began renovating previously occupied artisan/production studio space to accommodate other uses. The Prices removed and refinished walls to open the spaces up to more natural light, refinished hardwood floors and ceilings, and completed the installation of high efficiency windows throughout the building. We also renovated the boilers, doubling their efficiency and upgraded the electrical service.

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