The razing of the old Chicago North Headquarters started August 25. The edifice has been vacant since last December when workers moved to the new building one block south. The headquarters, with about one-thousand employees in clerical, underground, substation, overhead, transportation, stores, and customer service, was established in the mid-1950s when the Company trifurcated the city into three divisions. Chgo North served the area from North Avenue up to the border, Chgo South from Pershing Road down to the city limits and Chgo Central served the six-mile wide strip between.
During an austerity program in the mid-1980s, North and South absorbed the famed Chgo Central and set Cermak Road as their border.
Built in 1931, the Northern Service Building was a warehouse and garage for the Northwestern Generating Station which sat where the new headquarters currently sits. Northwestern Station went into service in 1912 and occupied the parcel from Roscoe to Addison and from Kimball to the Chicago River.
The original 20,000 kilowatt coal fired Curtiss turbines were the world’s largest at the time. During a 1946 nation-wide coal strike, the station was reconfigured to also burn oil. The station was taken out of service in 1970 as pollution controls increased and nuclear power came on line.
The new headquarters is a state of the art 104,000 square foot space which houses about six hundred employees and includes a new 65,000 square foot warehouse with a 30 foot overhead clearance and six docks for shipping and receiving materials necessary to keep the system running.