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A MODERN AND SUBSTANTIAL
STRUCTURE iS THE 1ME W HOME
OF THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
ONE OF THE MOST COMPLETE
OFFICE BUILDINGS IN THE COUNTRY
All Materials Used in the
Building Are of the
Convenience and Permanence
the First Consider-
Detailed Description of thehome
Building and Its
Suitability -was the first consideration
In the planning: of the new building for
the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce.
And this means not only adaptation to the
peculiar daily business needs of a great
body of men engaged in the buying and
Belling of wheat and grain products, but
also attention to the fitness of things in
every part of the building, external and
For instance, if any one should feel
disappointed in the almost severely simple
etyle of architecture and the quiet color
ing of the building, it should be remem
bered that the structure is designed as
the home of that most prosaic of occu
pations, the buying and selling of bread
stuffs. Here the lighter styles of arch
itecture would be out of place, and every-
thing should suggest the substantial and
solid character of the business housed.
Again it should be called to mind that the
chamber stands in the center of a great
city and under the constant cloud of
smoke issuing from the chimneys of the
flour mills and other manufacturing es
tablishments. The color of its walls is
calculated to receive no injury but to be
rather improved through the action of the
Again, the superficial observer, who
at first glance denominates the building as
"plain," will find upon more careful study
that Its lines are beautiful, its proportions
unassailable, its detail highly attractive
in fact that it is architecturally a con
stantly increasing pleasure. The more It
Is studied the more its dignity, fitness and
congruity impresses the intelligent critic
But when the methods used in con-
THE OLD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUILDING.
struction are taken up, when the ar
rangements for the business, convenience
and health of the occupants are consid
ered, all questions of external architect
ural merit fade into insignificance. Here
it is that the conspicuous suitability of
the building becomes most prominent.
For as an office building the'-'Chamber of
Commerce has no superior, and for the
needs of a trading organization no more
perfect arrangements could be devised.
In planning the structure, the officers
of the chamber and the architects, Messrs.
Kees and Colburn, determined to have a
building which, would not only be suitable
but in every way permanent for it was a
part of the thought of the Chamber of
Commerce men that this was to be the
of a permanent organization which
would probably be doing business right
here when the sons and grandsons of the
present members have succeeded to mem
bership The occasion seemed to be one
which called for excellence of construc
tion, durability, solidity and permanence.
Not only was this appropriate but it was
good business. For the chamber is owned
by its members and it is the best of
economy for them to so build as to reduce
the repairs account to the lowest possible
limit. This idea Controlled. From found
ation stone to roof everything was put in
with the thought that it must stay and
not wear out. The best materials were
selected in every instance and the best
plans of construction were followed.
Following out these ideas it is believed
that few if any buildings in the country
will cost so little for repairs and main
tenance a.ncl that few "will pro-% e to wear
so well as this.
The Chamber of Commerce building
covers a space in dimensions 157 feet by
132 feet, the former frontage being on
Fourth avenue S and the latter on Fourth,
street S. It is ten stories in height except
the part occupied by the trading room.
Here a considerable space is left to pro
vide light. The external 'walls are of array
speckled Norman brick of the finest grade
made. These brick walls are slightly or
namented with terra Cotta work in al
most the same color. But the ornamen
tation Is very simple. It serves to relieve
the plainness of the walls by the intro
duction of relief -work about the -windows
and doorways but the designs are so un
obtrusive that they are not discernible
at a great distance, but blend naturally
with the general color effect.
No attempt was made to introduce ar
chitectually promineunt doorways. The
main entrance on Fourth avenue ie hand
some but quite inconspicuous the Fourth
street entrance is merely the substitution
of a doorway for a window without
change in the architectural arrangement
of that front. An exceptionally wide but
severely plain cornice lends dignity to the
building. Messrs. Kees & Colburn give this
style of building no particular name. It
is not an "adapted" or "modified" any
thing. It follows their own ideas and is
as well entitled to carry their name as
The internal arrangement of the b.uild
ing is with reference to the special re
quirements of a grain trading body. En
tering from Fourth avenue one passes
through a broad, low corridor to the ele
vators there is a stairway, but It is in
conspicuous and little usedonly fast
elevators are equal to the demands of
the grain men. These elevators afford
communication with every floor, one being
operated for the special use of the fourth
or trading room floor. The location of
the trading room on the fourth, floor has
obvious advantages. It is almost equally
accessible from all parts of the building,
is not too far from the ground Hoar,
where all persons from other buildings
must, of course, enter, while good light
is secured and the space on the lower
floors, under the trading room, is made
available. Above one end of the trading
room, as has been said, there are no
offices, the space being left open to se
cure better lighting.
On the first floor are the secretary's
office, directors' room, the branch post
office and such conveniences as barber
shoo and cigar and news stands. The
basement is devoted to the heating,
lighting and ventilating plant.
Method of Construction.
In general construction the chamber
is as nearly perfect as modern ideas and
skill can make it. The foundations were
laid down during one season and were
allowed to stand over winter before the
superstructure was commenced. On these
foundations was built a steel skeleton,
but the outside walls were made a part
of the strength of the building. They
are exceptionally massive and through
every pier runs a steel column. All the
other steel structural work is carefully
protected by means of brick or terra
cotta. The floors are of the Haglin fire
proof systeminvented by C. F. Haglin,
the general contractor for the building.
All interior partitions are of Mackolite
tiling and all walls are covered with
Zenith plaster. The corridors are floored
with tile and wainscotted with Italian
marble the stairways are of steel and
The building Is, in fact, fireproof. There
Is very little wood about it. The offices
are in birch with mahogany finish.
The Great Trading Room.
Of course the center of interest in the
building is the great trading room. It is
here that the business of the greatest cash
wheat market of the world is transacted.
As has been stated, this room is on the
fourth floor of the building. It Is located
on the side adjoining the old building,
which stands just across an alley, and it
Is connected with the old building by
means of a covered bridge, so that tenants
of the old structure have as ready access
to the 'change room as those in the new
The trading room is 75x132 feet in size
and has an area of 9,900 square feet, or
more than twice that of the trading room
in the old building. It occupies more than
two stories. At the level of the fifth floor
a gallery runs around the Fourth avenue
end of the room, allowing visitors to en
ter either from the new or old building:
and making it possible for one to pass
from one building to the other without
going upon the trading room floora placa
which is devoted sacredly to members or
properly introduced visitors. At this same
Fourth avenue end of the room are the
cash grain tables at the other end are
the wheat pit, the quotation boards and
the telephone booths. On one side are
the telegraph desks and on the other the
coarse grain pits.
However conservative they have been
In other particulars the Chamber of Com
merce people have spared no pains to
make the trading room the finest and most
elaborately decorated in the country
From the floor rises wainscoting of green
marble. The ceiling is deeply beamed and
panelled and -with the -walls is richlv or
namented with plaster work of refined
design. The decorating of this room was
done under the direction of John S. Brad
street of Minneapolis and is in admir
able taste. In the ceiling panels old ivory
effects were used with occasional com
binations of green. The walls are in tones
of the palest straw color with wreaths of
wheat, barley and other grains at inter
vals, while stalks of the same grains are
f f v-
used in appropriate places. The rich or
namental plaster work is brought out in
deep tones of old "ivory picked out with
pale green'and old bronze. The decora
tion of the frieze is a design in fresco with
figures and fruits'* symbolic of Plenty and
A notable feature^of the decoration is
found in seven semicircular panels con
taining pictures representing the develop
ment of flour miHii}^ and its introduction
in various countries/ Two women grind
ing wheat with primitive stones repre
sent the method ccf early times in India.
The old Egyptian 'Spill operated by camel
power is another subject an old Icelandic
mill another. A HJjHfcnd windmill, a Ger
man mill and an old English mill each
furnish a subject while the group is com
pleted by a sketch of the first mill at the
Falls of St. Anthony-i-the old government
mill eFected in 18g2. These panels are
beautifully executed and form a most at
tractive and appropriate part of the decor
ations of the room., "They are placed over
the gallery in the^Fourth avenue end. of
the trading room. "7
The smoking-roopit opening from the
trading-room was '"also decorated by Mr.
Bradstreet. It is 4ku dark red and green
with black oak? wo^&fiinish and is a most
artls*ics-nd^chajj|^^ feature of the Com
forts'of the^bu^mSr^In addition to these
rooms the main dorridor and many of
the leading offieesg in the building were
decorated by Mr. Brad-street.
A novel "feature the trading-room Is
the system of signals for the use of brok
ers on the floor. There are 100 boxes in a
conspicuous -positfpfc ^ach. -with a number
On its glass front and a_system of electric
lights and signals go.that any broker may
be summoned to his office or to the door
of the room withoutjieing hunted for. A
broker who has tbf use of one of these
signal boxes is supposed to glance fre
quently at his number for hints of the
wants of his officei^or the desire of vis
itors to see him. ' '*
The Heating and Ventilating System.
AM a buildingentirely apart from its
use as a Chamber of, Commercethe most
notable thing about this structure is the
system of warming and ventilating. This
was given much attention by the archi
tects and the contractors, H. Kelly ofc
Co. of Minneapolis. It was determined
to give the building good air both through
the introduction of pure air and the ex
haustion of foul air, to warm the build
ing comfortably in every part, and to
do the whole thing well and economically.
I To work out these plans required a
vast amount of labor and time, for many
different conditions existed m the various
parts of the building, and problems arose
which must be solved in different ways.
All the principal methods of steam heat
ing are used. Direct radiation Is found
in the corridors, indirect tn the offices
and combinations and variations in other
parts of the building. To begin with,
every cubic foot of air which enters^ the
building is thoroughly washed. This is
a novelty in this part of the country. The/
air enters a huge box or tank, where ft
passes over a body of water which is
constantly thrown up into a fine SjinrayV
No air escapes this spray. And it is*a|[f'
tonishing to the uninitiated to learn ijaat,
when the box Is cleanedat frequent JJJ-,*Mrajuce.
tervalsit is found to contain a large d^v,
posit of dirt washed out of the "pure* ate't*
of Minneapolis. After passing
a drying process, the air goes to a cham
ber, where it passes through great coils
of steam pipes and thence Into the ducts
leading to the various offices. It thus
reaches the offices clean, dry and warm*
but not superheated. A system of elec
tric regulation is designed, to control tiH*
temperature of the air.
As the air is forced into the offices un
der pressure, the air pressure in the of
fices is slightly above that outside. The
idea of this is, to prevent inward draughts
voted to the use of brokers, the general
offices, postoffice branch station, barber
Shop, etc. The entire second floor is oc
cupied by the Washburn-Crosby company
and their affiliated organizationsthe St.
Anthony & Dakota Elevator company, the
Huhn Elevator company, the Barnum
^Waih company, etc The third floor is
given over to F. H. Peavey & Co., and its
many constituentfloor companies.
through windows and around doorsal
ways most objectionable.
In the toilet-rooms strong exhaust pipes
appear constantly sucking out the air and
creating a slight current from the adja
cent corridors, with the result of effectu
ally preventing any odors or foUl,airs from
entering other parts of the buildsiie'.
The problem of heating and ventilating
the trading-room was the most difficult.
Here was a room 75 by 132 feet in area
and SB or 40 feet high, with dtoors con
stantly open, and where steam radiators
WOUld, be very ofrjection&Dite, even it ef
ficient. The problem was solved by intro
ducing the warm air thrtough the cell
ing, forcing it into every part of the great
room and removing vfoul air through aper
tures in the walls nW the floor with suc
tion created by blovsers. The whole had
to be most carefully ^adjusted to produce
perfect results in every\part of the room.
The Basement A Show Place.
The entire basement^ of the building is
occupied by the apparatus of the warm
ing, ventilating and electrical plant. It is
the most complete collecwotf. of machinery
and apparatus to be found In the north
west anoTwiH attract maiVy ^visitors, in
tact, speOlaJf s.rra.Ti&eroentW -iKtve teeri
made to matte the place att&ictlve and ac
'eessible. "An the elevator^ ^ni run to tfes
k Efasement floor Vhere they ** ill iad pas
sengers In a spacious lobby ^eparatefi by
glass walls from the various*, machinery
rooms. Ori tfne side are"tUtfeV anrmeaase
generators which furnish eTectru- Hgtot and
power. lie^e Were installed b3''\fhe West-1
! mghouse company. In the, certyer is a
'great switch board put in by w l I. tSray
& Co. of Minneapolis, who did the* general
electrical wcrk in the building, th4* whole
.under the_genera airectton or Chafes X,.
Pillsbury, consulting electrical ew^*aeer.
The chief engineer of the bujldifog wiU
have a fine private office. y ,
Some Model Offices, c
As soon asr-it was decided to eredi"" *
new chamber the leading firms ente^sa
into a friendly rivalry over the offic^.
Many had been much crartfpfcd'for* reonn
and determined to plenty of space foi'
future growth. As it fell out there wtts\
not room enough to go round. * - *
The first floor of i he building ir'dt
THE TRADING ROOM I N THE NEW BUILDING.
TRADITO BOOM GALLEEY, SHOWING DECORATIVE TREATMENT.
e fourth are the offices of
a^Wgjtiber of the leading brokers who wish
|j^3$e*,very close to the trading room en
The seventh floor is entirely de-
.fYOfced.' to the uses of the Van Dusen-Har
Ociagton company and its affiliated organi
sations , while the remaining floors are
(more or less divided up.
Many of these offices are fitted up in
.magnificent style. The Washburn-Crosby
[floor resembles a great banking room one
jsteps directly from the elevator into a
[main corridor or lobby with a marble and
j metal desk-partition as the only separa
ttion from the great office.
As the space was all assigned long be
fore the building was up the offices were
J arranged to suit the tenants. Many of the
firms agreed together to use only ma-
hogany furniturewith a very happy re
stalt In uniformity and elegance. Much
pride was taken in fittings and decora
tions and Mr. Bradstreet, who decorated
the trading room, was called upon to
decorate many of the larger offices and
in some cases designed special furniture.
No class of business men are more
sumptuously guaarterefl tfcan the grain and
flour nun ojf toe Minneapolis Chamber of
The Financing of the Enterprise.
*OTlien the Oaimber ot Commerce faced
the proposal for a new tmSding it was
with the record of the small, original
bnJMiag well managed and paid for. For
some years the chamber had T)een free
from debt and the building was earning
enough to pay all expenses except for a
nominal assessment. Under the circum
stances there was no difficulty in bonding
the sew proposition to the "***nt at
$400,000. Later an additional loan of $200,-
000 was secured and to meet this a spec
ial assessment ot $50 a year for five years
was voted. The remainder of the money
needed to complete the building and re
model the old one was voted by addi
tional assessment. This leaves the Cham
ber ot Commerce wltli . bonaed debt ot
It is estimated by the officers that the
income from all sources win Tae sufficient
to meet '$20,-000 worth of bonds each year,
pay Interest, and at the same time hav?
a surplus -for the sinking ifimd of $?e,*08n
or more. TJiHter fl*e circumstances it may
tre inferred tfeat the 'chamber will be *n-
tire|y free Irom debt within ten years.
Sihce the rtew tm9dlng *?*s undertaken
tevery foot of -space lias been let tn both
the w tatS. *o%a structures, fnetodtng thr
sparce iteeA *n -t*te -efta %mSUtes toy ttoe
trading room. All this \has Tee con
verted.into offices and the whole building
is /being put in first-elass order. Even
wit$i these changes a large number of
chamber members sand .allied interests are
still iuncted in. outside toundinsrs.
f^*,tfAME*UBr NOT* M'JJ
The-OWhrera f tha Chamber af -Com"
tneroe for Twenty Odd Yetra
Jtaor turn jet imwrtmwum, bare, *ervfl *b.
sgs^ss^MUi" - ^^a^^Ms^jji^^MillE^S
Chamber of Commerce in an official capacity*
The list of officers since organization follows:
1881-1882H. G. Harrison, president A. D .
Mulfbrd, first vice piesident A. B Taylor, sec
ond vice-president G. D. Rogers, secretary T .
J. Buxton, treasurer.
1882-1883B. V. White, president E. S.
Hinkle, first vice president H J. D. Crosswell,
second rice president, C. -C. Sturtevant, secre
tary T. J. Buxton, treasurer.
1883-188AGeorge A. PUlsbury, president
James Marshall, fiist vice president, C VT John
son, second rice-president C. C Sturtevant, sec
retary. George B. Shepherd treasurer.
1884-1885George A. PUlsbury, president C
W. Johnson, first vice-president, James Marshall,
second vice-president e . C. Sturterant, secre
tary, William Powell, tieasurer.
1885-1885C. M. Loring, president Jamea
Marshall, first vice-president F. L. Greenleaf.
second vice-president C. C. Sturteyant, secre
tary William Powell, treasurer.
1886-1887C. M. Loring. president P. B .
Greenleaf, first vice-president r . C. Pillsbury,
second vice-president C. C. Sturtevant, secre
tary WiUiam Powell, treasurer.
188T-1888C. M Loring, president James
Marshall, first vice president, F. L. Greenleaf,
second vice-president C. C Sturtevant, secre
tary William Powell, treasurer.
1888-1889C. M. Loring, president F. O.
PUlsbury. first vice-president G. B . Kirkbride,
second vice-president C. O. Sturtevant,
tary H. H. Ttaajer, treasurer.
18SO 181F L Greenleaf. president G. B .
Kirkbrlde, first vice-president, F. C. PUlsburr,
second rice-president C. C. Sturtevant, teerf
tary H H. Thsyer. treasurer.
1801-1892F. L. Greenleaf. president F. 0.
Pfli8bnrr, first vice-president 3. H. Martin,
second Tiee-president, C. C. Sturtevant, secre
tary. H H Thayer, treasurer.
1892-1893C. A. Pillsbury, president J. H.
Martin, first vice-president L. W. Campbell,
second vice-president C. C. Sturtevant, secre
tary Hi H Thayer, treasurer.
1S83-1SS4C. A. Pnisbory, president L. W.
Cc-nipheU, first vice president: 3. H. Martin, sec
ond vice president, G. X Rogers, ecretary, J.
Tt. McEnarr, assistant becreary H. H. Thtayer,
1894-1895J. H. Martin, president L- B .
Brooks, first vice president A. C. Loring, second
vice president, G. D . Rogers, secretary 3. H.
McEnary. assistant secretary H. H. Thayer,
1895-1SS6J. H. Martin, president A. C.
Txring first vice president. L. R. Brooks, sec
ond Tice president: G. D. Rogers, secretary 3.
H. McEnary, assistant secretary H. H. Thayer,
189C-1JW7T,. H . Prooks, president? * Joh
Washburn, first vice president C. M. Harring
ton, second vice president G J Rogers, secre
tary J. H. McEnary assistant secretary C. T.
lSdT-lSQSL R Brooks, president: O. M.
Harrington, first vice presiaent. John Wa-Ortrai-n,
second vice president G. D. Rogers, secretary
3. H. McEnary, aastetsnt aewetary C. T. Jaf
I'WS-ISOSC. M. Harrington, president John
Wasnenm, first vice president E. S. Woodworth,
xecond vice president: G. D Rogers, secretary:
3. EL McEnary, assistant secretary C. T. Jaf
1899-1900C. M- Harrington, president B . S.
"Woodwcrth, first rice president John Washburn,
saeoond vice president G. D . Rogers, secretary
J. H . Mcl&narr, assistant secretary C. T. Jaf
1900-1301J* TVaEUtouxn. ptesident, f". W .
rfeuunong, first vice .president E S. Woodworth,
second vice president H. D. Rogers, secretary
,T. H. McEnary, assistant secretary C. T. Jaf
1901-1902John "v"nthbtirn president: E 8-
Wtwdwortli, first vice president. F \V. Oom
Bes second *ice pcesJei C J Rogers, ser
retary. J. S MtEnarj, assistant secretary C. T.
1902-1WWJames Marshall, president P. W.
t-ottimons, first vice president. P. B. Smith, sec
ond -tin* president G. t Rogers, secretary
J. H. SCcS&ary, assistant secretary C T. Jaf