Thursday, January 28, 2016

1913 Schulze Bakery Building

(3D Satellite)
Elaine Mack posted
The Schulze Baking Company at 40 E. Garfield Blvd on Chicago's South side was the home of Butternut Bread and Hostess Cakes. There was an outlet next door to the main building that was a favorite spot for all! We passed this grand old building on our way from Hyde Park to the Dan Ryan, and you could catch the wonderful aromas of that bread several blocks away.
Eugene Klichowski: So many errors on this post. This building was the eventual home of Butternut bread, but NOT Hostess Cakes, those were connected to Interstate Bakery, bakers of Wonder Bread who had a plant in Hodgkins and another in Schiller Park, where the Twinkee was invented.
Silvercup was from the Gordon Baking Co who had plants in New York, Detroit, and Chicago, just blocks away from this building. Gorden Bakery closed in 1974 and the rights to bake Silvercup were picked up by New Process Baking, which was in Bridgeport at Lock and Hillock. New Process also baked Holsum, Mothers, Jeager, and Kappas breads, as well as many private label brands, such as Cubs Foods and Piggly Wiggly.
Martin Raymondy: Eugene Klichowski The Twinkies were not invented in Schiller Park ! The bakery moved there in 1967 from River Forest !
Kevin Byrnes: For a number of the last 15 years or so this building has been proposed for conversion for data center use, but that use has never been fulfilled. It is now for sale, being marketed as a vacant warehouse by JLL (see video below). The ad says that it can have power up to 25 MW but that is not currently supplied into the building--it's just what ComEd has said they could supply. The video shows several data centers (and a bunch of other property!) that I've appraised in Chicago. The "Digital Crossroads" shown early in the flyover is on the lakefront in Hammond.
I've driven by this building many hundreds of times and have always admired its exterior. Someone I knew at the University of Chicago who got their PhD in history there told me that the rear dock area of the building had thin grooves in the concrete heading away from the building; this is where horse-drawn carts would pull up--the grooves carried away the fluid excretions, if I can put it euphemistically.

The above post was a Jan 2024 update. When I accessed Google Maps, I noticed the Spirit Wrecking & Excavation label. I assume the plastic wrap is for dust control. Hopefully, it is for asbestos and/or lead paint removal rather than for demolition.

Nairrot Arabrab Franklin posted
Schulze Baking Company Plant. (40 E. Garfield Blvd.(55th and Wabash). Built in 1913.

It used to bake Butternut Bread. It was closed in 2004. The Feb 2009 photo below also shows protection over the sidewalk. It is to protect pedestrians from falling debris off the terra-cotta building.
Google Map Photo

Workers are seen in 1916 when the bakery was
one of the largest in the world. [Internet Archive]
The building has 95,840 square feet of floor space or nearly five acres. A data center plans to invest $130 million to use about 52,000 square feet of the building. Unlike the suburbs, ComEd's grid is strong enough in the city to provide the 10 megawatts necessary to run and cool the server farm. And unlike downtown, the massive amount of square footage needed for the server farm is affordable. Server farms are what implement "the cloud." As more people store their data in the cloud so that any of their devices can access it, more servers are needed. The developers also plan to use some of the remaining room for a training center of data technicians and to eventually have retail business such as restaurants to help "enliven" Garfield Boulevard.

"It was the largest in a group of five bakeries that once flourished in Washington Park"

In addition to cranking out a lot of bread, Schulze and Burch Biscuit Company helped pioneer new food products such as saltines, toaster pastry, and granola bars. They also had other plants at 35th Street, Hodgkins, IL, and a 21st century. 500,000 sq. ft. plant in Arkansas (photo on the right). (SchulzeBurch)

Chicago Patterns Part 1 and Part 2 has more information on the building and the history of the bakery.

Update: this posting has pictures of a terra cotta building and a picture of what it looked like after they took off the terra cotta finishing. It illustrates that it is important that the developers repair and retain the terra cotta on the Schulze building.

Tuesday Williams Bankston posted
Tuesday Williams Bankston posted
Tuesday's comment:
The old Butternut Bread building on 55th and Garfield. I heard it hit LandMark status. Not sure what their gonna do with it. I still recall how great it smelled driving pass!
 A comment indicates one of the other five bakeries mentioned above:

Christine Trzos Your right ... Garfield Boulevard! Just a little bit further west was the SilverCup Bread factory.

Chad Brown posted four photos with the comment:
The Schulze Baking Company plant built in 1913 was located on 40 E. Garfield also known as 55th and Wabash. Was the home of Hostess brand Butternut Bread until 2004. Currently the building is undergoing rehabilitation for use as a data center.
Chad Brown Loved going there..The bread was so fresh and the "other" things we used to get from there..Cupcakes, Twinkies etc... Definitely miss this place!!😥

Tess Dennis Schlagheck The Lakeside Press building is now a data center and the Motorola plant in Franklin Park was recently demolished to be replaced by another data center. That's the way of the world now.

[I thought the bread brand for Hostess was Wonder Bread. Maybe they had both brands --- Wonder and Butternut Breads. Certainly Twinkies was a Hostess brand.         Before 1995, this plant was not Hostess. The cup cakes they smelled were probably Dolly Madison. [FundingUniverse]




There were several postings in a row for Schulze (Butternut Bread) in Forgotten Chicago. Fortunately, it is a public group, so I'll just list the links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. and 6.

Peter J Santora posted
Lydia Lucas It's abandoned with broken windows now.I live down the street.

Damanbehindthamirroredball GrownfolkGrooves posted
Butternut Bread Bakery 40 E. Garfield 

Midway Lopez posted
40e. Garfield , Washington Park area. Schulze Baking under construction. That Blue tone stands out always.

1 comment:

  1. What company purchased the building and is this for their data only. Will this create jobs for the community. With it being an extremely large building will other companies be located there. What is the approximate finishing time of the rehab and opening.