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Step into Printer’s Row history.

Donohue Building ChicagoIn 1883 while M. A. Donohue pioneered today’s Printer’s Row with the first large printing factory at 711–727 S. Dearborn, the historical South Loop, as we know it today, was just forming.

At the time, while Satan’s Mile was enjoying its heyday south along State Street to 22nd, Chicago’s elite built great mansions just east along Prairie Avenue. Thirty years later as the streets were being cleaned of the brothels more manufacturing plants were built. Printers including R. R. Donnelley and Franklin, as well as type foundries and binderies joined the Donohue building. About the same time, just south of Satan’s Mile along Michigan Avenue Motor Row was established.

Over the next twenty years many of the mansions in the Prairie District were turned into boarding houses or razed as the children of the late prime movers relocated to the suburbs. Residential housing did not start to flourish again in the South Loop until the late 1970s with the establishment of Dearborn Park and in 1979 when the Donohue building became the city’s first conversion of factory lofts into residential condominiums.

A unique opportunity is now available in the Donohue building. Unit 312 at 727 S. Dearborn houses 4000 square feet of live/work space. Twelve interior concrete pillars under thirteen foot high ceilings support the space. Light fills the space with south, east and west exposures.

Floorplan of available space in the Donohue Building Chicago

Floorplan of the current layout with approximate measurements of the former music studio.

Endless possibilities await the next owner of this live/work space. One could live in the whole loft or just on one side and work in the other. With exposed brick, high ceilings, and tons of light the bones of this unit offer a great start to a fabulous residence. View the images for some artist’s concepts of how some parts of the space might look if it were built out to be entirely residential.

Artist's concept of how a residential floorplan might look.

Artist’s concept of how a residential floorplan might look.

The loft is currently being used exclusively as a commercial space. An investor could rent out the offices, of which half the unit is currently rented, or rent out the entire loft for residential purposes. Commercial uses in the past have been for law offices, masseuse, medical, business offices, and most recently music studios. The cost for rental is $21/ Sq Ft with heat and air included. The purchase price is $1,200,000

Whatever the unit is used for you can bet it will be outstanding space to live or work. This loft is located just south of the Loop with easy access to public transportation, major expressways, Grant Park, restaurants and nightlife.

Artist's sketch of what the entry to the master suite might look like.

Artist’s sketch of what the entry to the master suite might look like. Glass french doors, a wall of glass block separating the bathroom, and inlay wood floors.

Artist's concept of how the front entryway might look.

Artist’s concept of how the front entryway might look. The loft feel is enhanced with stainless steel plating along the risers of the stairs and with a lighted exposed column. The look is softened with dark wood flooring and an inlay of a six-pointed star to represent Chicago.













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Historical information from