The Merchandise Mart
Conceived as a model of modern, scientific efficiency in wholesale merchandising. The Merchandise Mart's purpose was to centralize Chicago's wholesale goods trade by consolidating its vendors and activities under one roof. The creation of The Merchandise Mart epitomized the business and building boom of the frenzied years of the 1920s, which was categorized by both an ambivalent combination of building tendencies and a traditional view of civic decorum in architecture and planning. At the time of completion in 1931, The Mart was the largest building in the world at four million square feet.

Ownership of The Merchandise Mart passed from Marshall Field and Company to Joseph P. Kennedy in 1945. Over the past half century, Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc. (MMPI) has been North America's specialist in marketing support of buildings with wholesalers, retailers and consumers. In this capacity, MMPI is both a property manager and trade show producer, divisionally organized by the industries housed in its buildings and represented at its events.

Today, The Merchandise Mart is an architectural design capital. Throughout the year, MMPI hosts trade shows and market events giving architects the chance to view the latest in residential and commercial design and services. Besides a resource, The Merchandise Mart is a showcase for many well-known architects. From showroom redesign to the renovation and construction of the building itself, The Merchandise Mart displays foremost architectural design projects throughout.



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