[graphic header] Chicago: A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary, National Park Service

Reid Murdoch Building
Reid Murdoch Building, exterior
Photo courtesy of Commission on Chicago Historical and Architectural Landmarks.

The Reid Murdoch Building, designed in 1913-1914 by George C. Nimmons, was constructed as a food processing company and warehouse. The seven-story building, which sits on the Chicago River, has a three-story clock tower rising from the center of its base. The tower originally housed a water tower that supplied the sprinkler system. The concrete and steel frame of the building is covered with a massive brick facade. The upper floor spandrels, entrances and bays were accented by terra cotta decorations. Nimmons followed Daniel H. Burnham's Plan of Chicago of 1909. This city plan gave consideration to the development of the Chicago River front sites as aesthetic and commercial possibilities.

In 1926, one bay in the west end of the building was removed when LaSalle Street was widened. The city of Chicago purchased the building in 1955 to house traffic courts, the State Attorney's Office, and several city departments. Extensive interior remodeling has been carried out and new entrances, elevators, and escalators have been added while the terra cotta decorations have been removed.

The Reid Murdoch Building is located along the Chicago River at 325 N. LaSalle St. The building was recently renovated for office space, some of which are open to the public.


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