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