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Then and Now: Soho House Chicago

Circa 1910s

Photograph: Chicago-Allis Manufacturing Corporation/Soho House Chicago

Built in 1908, the Allis Building at 113–125 North Green Street, in the neighborhood now known as Fulton Market, was originally the headquarters of the Chicago Belting Company, a leather tannery. The five-story brick factory was designed by Lawrence G. Hallberg, an architect who moved to Chicago from his native Sweden in 1871, the year of the Great Chicago Fire, and specialized in industrial buildings. With a steady supply of animal hides from the Union Stock Yards, the Chicago Belting Company was reportedly one of the biggest leather manufacturers in the country during the first half of the 20th century. In later decades, it shifted to producing rubber sealing products under the name Chicago-Allis Manufacturing Corporation.

2017

Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

The Allis Building was purchased in 2012 by Soho House, the U.K.–based private club and hotel, and opened as Soho House Chicago in 2014. At 108,000 square feet, it’s the largest of its outposts, boasting 40 guest rooms, a rooftop pool, a 40-seat screening room and a fitness center with a full-size boxing ring available to club members, who tend to be creative-class types. Unlike many other Soho House locations, Chicago’s also has several spaces open to the public. On the mezzanine level, where workers in the photo above once tanned hides, you’ll find rotisserie restaurant Chicken & Farm Shop, the hidden Fox Bar and a swanky lounge, the Allis, that serves fresh-pressed juices and pastries in the morning and classic cocktails and dinner fare at night. 

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