Saturday, January 23, 2016

Burhop Box & Packaging

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When I went to Goose Island to take pictures of the Division Street Bridge before they replace it, I found a parking lot off North Branch Street. Since it was the weekend (because I never drive to downtown Chicago on a weekday) the lot was almost empty.

After taking pictures of the bridge, when I came back to the car I noticed that this building itself was rather old because of the star-rod bracing of the brick structure.
Except from above photo

There were little stars along the roof line and big star plates along the wall lines. In fact, it looks like they replaced the wall bracing as part of the building rehab.

Once again, I use Bing as a "time machine." Below is a picture of the building before they rehabbed it.

Bird's Eye View
While I was taking picture from the parking lot, a lady came out and asked if she could help me. I said "Yes, how old is this building?" She didn't know. I could see they were doing work inside (on a Saturday) so I verified with her that they are preserving it. I pointed out the star-plate, rod bracing and said I was glad they were preserving it. Then weeks later I came across the following in Facebook.

Jessica Lynn posted
Burhop paper co. on Goose Island!!
It wasn't until I read the following comment that I realized it was the building I photographed.
Corey Benson II: I worked for a while across the street at the Mercedes-Benz service center. The workers and contractors are doing an excellent job conserving the building and brickwork, but the top floors were in such bad shape that they had to be removed, according to the guys working on it.
As usual, the Google satellite image is not as old. It shows that they have removed the power plant but still have not built the parking lot.

With Jessica's information of "Burhop Paper," I had what I needed to search the internet for more information. Fortunately, this is not a case of another manufacturer moving to Mexico. They moved to a more modern facility in a neighborhood that is not being taken over by the yuppies. Their web site has three more pictures of the old plant. But they scroll too fast to study. :-(

I learned from genealogy that the company was founded in 1897.
I learned from someone selling this 1930's sign that the building was operational by the thirty's.
ChicagoType and CeliaHerCity have more pictures of the building before its remodeling.


  1. I own Burhop Box @ Packaging and can give you the history of the building if you’re still interested. Call 312-664-3050. Ask for Bob

    1. The phone number is actually 312-664-3060.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Wow did you say that you now own Burhop Paper company? Such a small world. Would you happen to be a son of the original owners? If there is someone there that has been around for awhile, ask them if the know my dad. His name is JC. He worked at Burhop for as long as I can remember. He retired sometime in the mid eighties. He and Elmer Lindsey were the only two African Americans that worked for Burhop in the early years.