Schulze Baking Company

Here is a building I have longed to photograph for many months, maybe even years. Today, I finally got my chance.

Schulze Baking Company

Amid the houses, apartments, and low-grade commercial enterprises along Garfield Boulevard, this gleaming, towering industrial building stands out like a jewel. Seeing it for the first time is a take-your-breath-away, holy-crap-what’s-that kind of moment.

German immigrant Paul Schulze founded his baking company around the turn of the century, and worked to promote sanitary conditions in industrial bakeries (or at least the perception thereof.) The building went up in 1914, designed by John Ahlschlager & Son.

Schulze Baking Company

Schulze Baking Company

Among the building’s lavish ornament are some flagrant Louis Sullivan knockoffs, enhanced with sculpted ears of corn.

Behind the five story main building is a long, low industrial complex, still in operation today.

Schulze Baking Company

Schulze Baking Company

The building appears to be having some problems; a piece of the terra cotta cornice is missing, and this side wall has been propped up with wood beams. Walkway coverings ring the building, as if to protect passersby from further terra cotta loss. One of the stairwells, visible from the street, has been tagged with spray paint, hinting at an under-used if not outright abandoned building.

Schulze Baking Company

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5 thoughts on “Schulze Baking Company

  1. My grandfather worked here in the late 1920s – early 1930s. The building has always fascinated me and I try to drive by anytime I'm in Chicago.Michelle Werner

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