Sunday, October 12, 2008

Schulze Baking Company

Here is a building I have longed to photograph for many months, maybe even years. Today, I finally got my chance.

Schulze Baking Company

Amid the houses, apartments, and low-grade commercial enterprises along Garfield Boulevard, this gleaming, towering industrial building stands out like a jewel. Seeing it for the first time is a take-your-breath-away, holy-crap-what's-that kind of moment.

German immigrant Paul Schulze founded his baking company around the turn of the century, and worked to promote sanitary conditions in industrial bakeries (or at least the perception thereof.) The building went up in 1914, designed by John Ahlschlager & Son.

Schulze Baking Company

Schulze Baking Company

Among the building's lavish ornament are some flagrant Louis Sullivan knockoffs, enhanced with sculpted ears of corn.

Behind the five story main building is a long, low industrial complex, still in operation today.

Schulze Baking Company

Schulze Baking Company

The building appears to be having some problems; a piece of the terra cotta cornice is missing, and this side wall has been propped up with wood beams. Walkway coverings ring the building, as if to protect passersby from further terra cotta loss. One of the stairwells, visible from the street, has been tagged with spray paint, hinting at an under-used if not outright abandoned building.

Schulze Baking Company

6 comments:

Eric Allix Rogers said...

As always, I've been eyeing this building from the bus for years, but you beat me to it. It is such an odd standout there. I hope it isn't abandoned!

Didi said...

I love the details and it is lovely to look at. I have never actually seen this one before.

snickers workwear said...

some stunning pictures of what looks like an amazing building. Keep posting this kind of thing, I love it!

adgorn said...

I too found this just by driving by. Glad to see your post. I created a waymark:
http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM91YY_Schulze_Baking_Company_Plant_Chicago_IL

Anonymous said...

My grandfather worked here in the late 1920s - early 1930s. The building has always fascinated me and I try to drive by anytime I'm in Chicago.

Michelle Werner

R.D.Cornelious said...

This is one of my most favorite south side buildings ever! When I was a very little kid (3 or 4), my family lived on 56th and Perry, two blocks from the bakery. My mother said that there were several small bakeries in the area that contributed to the great bread smell all over the neighborhood. I pass this building every Sunday on my way to church. I wish they'd reuse this building; maybe lofts or something; before it's lost forever!