Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Horween Leather Co. and Chicago Self-Storage- 2001-2027 N. Elston

This is one of my favorite views from the train.  The complex in the center (1886) is the Horween Leather Company.   The building to the right (1899) is now Chicago Self-Storage, although in 1914 it was the Eisendrath Glove Company.  There used to be an adjoining steel foundry on the far left.  The gap between the buildings is a public right-of-way.  Google Maps doesn't give it a name, but it used to be known as McLean Avenue.  Looks to be typical loft construction.  Horween has some decorative brick corbelling and the self-storage building has terra cotta arches above the windows and some simplified cornice details.  I've only seen these from the train, but they still look pretty solid.

Just saw the Horween Leather Co. website.  I'm impressed that Chicago businesses care so much about their history.  This is worth visiting if only for the photos of their complex from the 40s.  It also says that they're the only tannery left on the Chicago River.  Can that be true?


  1. Horween leather is used in all NFL and NBA game balls. True story.

  2. Much cooler than that.
    The company was started by Arnold Horween, whose real name was Arnold Horowitz, but he didn't want his family to know he played football, so he played under the name of McMahon.