Chicago loft buildings have interesting past lives

Yo’s truly is working on YoChicago’s definitive guide to loft developments, and I’m continually amazed by the wonderfully quirky names of all the different projects. The names usually reflect the buildings’ storied pasts. For instance, there’s Shoemaker Lofts, which was once the home of the Florsheim Shoe Factory. Then there is Printers Row Lofts, which recalls that neighborhood’s old printing houses. And there is Page Boiler Lofts, where former Congressman Mark Foley spent some quality time with young aides.

So many of these lofts have fascinating past lives, but some of the details can be difficult to track down, with the passage of time. If you live in a loft and have some reliable information about the building’s past life, please drop me a line at I’ve put in some calls to Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, but he says he has no prior knowledge of Page Boiler Lofts. And yes, it’s a real development. It’s at 811 W Webster Ave.

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