South Water Market - Chicago, IL
Posted by: adgorn
N 41° 51.749 W 087° 39.240
16T E 445720 N 4634714
Quick Description: When South Water Street was made over into Wacker Drive there was a
wholesale exodus of the scores of commission houses to a new home - the South Water Market between Fourteenth Place and Fifteenth Street from Morgan Street to Racine.
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 8/25/2009 8:13:13 AM
Waymark Code: WM72ZV
Paraphrased from (visit link
Receiving the court order in January 1925, the Market made frantic preparations to move. The architects, B. K. Goodman and Company, worked feverishly on plans for the new buildings. The deteriorated existing houses, then called the Village, a high crime neighborhood, were bulldozed down and replaced by the South Water Street Market. Six months later the merchants took possession of their new quarters, 166 stores or units, built at the cost of seventeen million dollars.
The modern market covered eight square blocks, bounded by Racine Avenue on the west; Morgan Street on the east; 14th Street on the north; and Baltimore and Ohio Railroad on the south. The streets were made 100 feet wide and the alleys 42 feet.
Imports from 48 states, Canada and more than 20 foreign countries were melded in the Market to give Chicago consumers whatever they desired. Produce from any point in the United States took between 3 and six days to reach the South Water Market; from overseas it took a little longer-but not much-by air freight.
It was expected that the new market would service Chicago well for the next 25 years at least. Soon it was discovered that the streets were not wide enough, and the market became badly crowded. (See (visit link
) for a top-down view of how the market was laid out among various vendors.)
The Chicago Planning Commission granted their approval July 10, 2003 on the sale of the 78 year old produce market for a cost of approximately 36 million dollars. Developers and investors of this one million sq. ft. project, Enterprise Companies of Chicago, turned the six buildings of 4 levels into 824, one, two and three bedroom loft apartments with 4500 sq. ft. of retail property, called the University Commons (see (visit link
The new Chicago International Produce Market was subsequently established at 2404 So. Wolcott in Chicago.