The Schatz Building is a 73,000 square foot, fully-restored loft building that is considered a landmark of Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood. Located at the southwest corner of Ontario Street and Fairbanks Court, it is one of the few remaining loft buildings east of Michigan Avenue.
The building was designed in 1917 by architects Benjamin Marshall & Charles Eli Fox as a bakery for the Horn & Hardart Automat Company. Marshall & Fox were best known for their hotels, including the Drake Hotel and Blackstone Hotel, and for designing theaters and luxury high-rise residences.
As it nears its 100th anniversary, the Streeterville landmark is undergoing a major renovation under the guidance of architects Krueck + Sexton. Passersby are taking note of the new two-story mural at the 610 N. Fairbanks Court entrance that features a portrait of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, a mid-century modernist celebrated for his contributions to design, architecture, photography, and sculpture. In 1939, Moholy-Nagy founded the School of Design in the Schatz Building. The School of Design featured the Bauhaus curriculum from Germany. It was later renamed the Institute of Design, and, in 1945, was incorporated into Illinois Institute of Technology. The mural is a reproduction in red tones of an untitled photograph taken by Moholy-Nagy’s then-wife, Lucia Moholy. Copyright credit to Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.
Other cultural luminaries to have made the Schatz Building their professional homes include advertising giant Joe Sedelmaier, film directors Lana and Andrew Wachowski, and author Shel Silverstein. Additional celebrities to have worked in the building include the actor known as "Mr. T" and Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy Magazine. The building is best known as the former home of the famed Chez Paree nightclub, which operated from 1932 to 1960 on the building's third floor. The Chez Paree offered Chicago patrons the opportunity to see the entertainment legends of the era, including Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Sophie Tucker, Nat King Cole, Carmen Miranda, and the list goes on.
Today, a new private event space called Chez invokes the history of the Chez Paree while offering a contemporary experience. Chez, an elegant, versatile venue on the building's second floor, can be transformed for weddings, corporate events, private parties, and nonprofit fundraisers.
The Schatz Companies office in the building, as do numerous tenants in creative fields.