The Fields

The Field’s is the renovation and adaptive re-use of a six-story, 1.5 million square foot concrete warehouse, located on 22-acres in Chicago’s Logan Square / Belmont Gardens Neighborhood, which has a past that is deeply interwoven with some of the most important names and fixtures in Chicago’s storied retail history. Originally built in 1928 by the Olsen Rug Company, it became a neighborhood and city institution and one of the neighborhood’s largest employers at the time. The relationship of the building and Chicago retailing changed in 1963 when it was purchased by Marshall Field’s, Chicago’s iconic retailer, for use as a furniture warehouse. In 2008, it closed and sat vacant until purchased in 2014 to become a mixed-use redevelopment incorporating a grocery store, parking, warehousing, light manufacturing, office, retail, film studios, and residential uses. This unique mixed-use concept created a synergy of uses not typically found in more traditional urban redevelopments.
The Field’s Lofts is the conversion of 144,000sf in the building’s easternmost section, on floors three through six, into 123 loft style dwelling units, amenities, and a roof deck with skyline views. The raw industrial space of the building was reimagined into a unique residential loft project. However, the deep floor plates of the existing building, that were perfect for its former use as a warehouse, brought significant challenges when designing residential units. In response, a mix of one-bedroom, two-bedroom and junior one-bedroom units were planned, ranging from 542 sf to 1330 sf, larger than comparable new construction projects in the city, but 20-30% more affordable. Creative floor plans took advantage of the high ceilings and large windows which allowed for thinner, deeper units. The Junior one-bedroom units, designed for singles and young couples, provided studio like living but with more defined living, sleeping and closet areas.
A large amenity space was created out of a partial sixth floor area with 20’ ceilings that allowed direct access to the roof. Within this 3000-sf space, uses were subdivided by glass walls, built-ins, and furniture placement to create separate co-working, lounge and shared kitchen spaces without subdividing the soaring space into smaller rooms. In addition, a large fitness center and bathrooms were provided for resident use. To accommodate a large roof deck with chaise lounges, barbeque stations, a fire pit and dog run, the existing roof structure had to be reinforced from underneath. An additional stair was brought up to this space to serve the deck, clad in industrial style metal panels and climbing ivy.
Throughout the building, and in particular the amenity spaces, corridors and lobby, the design takes many aesthetic cues from the building’s history such as incorporating original Marshall Field’s signage discovered during the renovation that now adorns the co-working space. The bygone department store’s iconic shade of green is also reflected on the building’s interior concrete columns, walls, and steel window frames. Industrial detailing was used throughout including in the design of custom pendant and sconce light fixtures. An art program utilizing photographic images of the building, pre-renovation, ties the new design into the heritage of the building and the neighborhood.
It isn’t often that a building of The Field’s size and impact on a neighborhood becomes available for this level of renovation and adaptive reuse. The Field’s lofts design was carefully integrated into the existing structure, history and overall master plan that brings needed jobs, housing, and affordability to Chicago.


Merit Partners, Hubbard Street Group, Knickpoint Ventures, MF Lofts LLC

Interior Designer:

Harken Interiors


Just the Facts: