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Carson Pirie Scott Collection, 1857-c.2000

Carson Pirie Scott Collection,

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Open Finding Aid

Ryerson and Burnham Archives, Ryerson and Burnham Libraries
The Art Institute of Chicago

Finding Aid Published: 2014

Carson Pirie Scott Collection, 1857-c.2000

Accession Number: 2011.7


©Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago. All rights reserved.

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COLLECTION SUMMARY:
TITLE:Carson Pirie Scott Collection, 1857-c.2000
EXTENT:6 linear feet (7 boxes) and 3 oversize portfolios
REPOSITORY: Ryerson and Burnham Archives, Ryerson and Burnham Libraries,
The Art Institute of Chicago
111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60603-6110
(312) 443-7292 phone
rbarchives@artic.edu
http://www.artic.edu/aic/libraries/rbarchives/rbarchives.html
ABSTRACT:Correspondence, photographs, financial papers, printed papers, personal papers, and drawings documenting the history of Carson Pirie Scott, with particular focus on the company's buildings and real estate. Also included are documention related to architect Louis Sullivan and the founders of Carson Pirie Scott.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION:Typescript papers, correspondence, printed papers, photocopies, drawings, scrapbooks, black and white photographs and black and white negatives.
ORIGINATION: Carson Pirie Scott.
ACQUISITION INFORMATION:

HISTORICAL NOTE:
Carson Pirie Scott was founded by Samuel Carson and John T. Pirie of Northern Ireland, who together founded a small dry goods firm in Cookstown, Ireland in the 1850s. Yearning for greater opportunity, the two emigrated from Ireland in August of 1854, bound for Philadelphia. In the following years, Carson and Pirie honed their merchant skills in various locales including New York City; LaSalle, Illinois and Amboy, Illinois, while opening stores in Mendota, Galena, Polo and Sterling, Illinois. With both the growth of iron and steel production in preparation for the Civil War and the influx of grain and cattle from new-found prairie farms, Chicago in the 1860s was a burgeoning metropolis with a vast consumer class. It was an opportunity the men could not ignore.

In early 1864 Carson and Pirie opened a wholesale business at 20 Lake Street, though it lasted less than a year before being destroyed in a fire. With their focus turned toward the city, the partners closed the small town stores by 1868, and were soon joined by brothers Samuel and Robert Scott, friends and fellow Irishmen who had been recruited to manage the early, regional retail locations. It was also in these early years in Chicago that Carson made the acquaintance of a Scotsman named Andrew MacLeish. With Pirie spending much of his time in New York City managing the company's foreign buying offices, the understaffed Chicago business lacked the resources to move into retail. With many years of experience in dry goods, MacLeish was the perfect candidate to fulfill this need and in early 1867 he accepted a partnership in Carson, Pirie and Company. The first retail store opened May of 1867 at 136 Lake Street but following an 1868 fire at the wholesale store, and the gradual shift of the shopping district away from Lake Street, the retail location was relocated to State Street north of Madison Street just two years later.

Undaunted by the death of Samuel Carson in September of 1869 and the Great Fire of October 1871--which destroyed the State Street store completely--Pirie, Scott and MacLeish agreed to rebuild, first with a new warehouse building at Madison and Franklin Streets and, later, with stores on 22nd, West Madison and Clark (at Erie) Streets. But it wasn't until 1883 that the company would return to State Street, with the fortuitous death of Charles Gossage whose business at State and Washington was purchased for $1 million. Operating under Gossage's name until 1890, the store was thereafter rebranded, remodeled and expanded under the Carson's name. Soon after John Scott was added as partner and the company's name was officially changed to Carson Pirie Scott.

In 1881 merchants Schlesinger & Mayer moved into the Bowen Building at the southeast corner of State and Madison Streets. Their success at this location prompted the company to hire the firm of Adler and Sullivan to design a new building, which was completed between 1898 and 1903. Alluding to the Bowen with its graceful, circular entrance bay at the corner, the iron and terra cotta building is widely considered a masterwork and has been a national landmark since 1975. Additional structures by Sullivan--including a pedestrian bridge from the elevated rail station--were added on Wabash in 1896. As the building was coming to completion, Schlesinger retired and Mayer, now saddled with serious debt from construction overruns, sought relief through a partnership with Otto Young, who owned the land south of the new store on State Street. Meanwhile, Carson's faced an uncertain future as its lease in the Reliance Building was expiring and with the Hillman Company taking ownership. The proposed partnership with Young went nowhere as did a proposed merger of both merchants under the name of Carson, Pirie and Mayer, leaving Mayer ever more desperate for an exit. At about this time a young partner at Marshall Field's, Harry Gordon Selfridge, decided to strike out of his own and, with the cash from his Field's partnership in hand, purchased the full interest in the Schlesinger & Mayer Company from its remaining owner. With insufficient capital to run such a large business at his disposal, Selfridge quickly sold off the building and leaseholds to Otto Young and, soon after, the whole business to the Carson's partners for the sum of $5.15 million. With this resolution, Carson Pirie Scott finally had the permanent home on State Street that they had been seeking for many years.

In the years after moving into the 1 South State building, Carson's continued to expand at a remarkable pace: a 1906 State Street addition by Daniel Burnham, a 1927 Burnham Brothers addition at the northwest corner of Wabash and Monroe, the 1950 acquisition of a 1940 building on Monroe Street (Louis Kroman, architect) and a 1960 State Street addition by Holabird and Root, all resulting in approximately 974,000 square feet of space. The company eventually expanded into suburban-style shopping malls such as Evergreen Park Plaza, which opened in 1952. In years following, over 20 other stores were added throughout Illinois and northern Indiana including Hammond, Indiana; Hillside, Illinois; Waukegan, Illinois and Riverside Plaza, Chicago. In 1945, R.H. Macy Co. attempted to buy Carson's though the deal was opposed by many of the founders' descendants, who were also controlling stockholders. With the original building in dire need of repairs, the company went public in 1946. Unfortunately, in the renovations that followed, many of the buildings features were drastically altered, though these were eventually reversed in McClier and Gunny Harboe's 2007 restoration. Significant leaders of this postwar period included Bruce MacLeish (son of Andrew, President, 1946-) and C. Virgil Martin (President, 1958-).

The 1960s saw Carson's diversifying into food and hospitality through the purchase of country clubs, resorts, hotels and restaurants while trying to cultivate a reputation as a trendier alternative to Marshall Field's. The arrival of CEO peter Wilmott in 1983 augured a time of great expansion with the 1984 purchase of apparel company County Seat, bringing national sales past $1 billion for the first time in company history. Carson's continued throughout the 1980s to purchase its brand portfolio while simultaneously divesting itself of businesses not pertinent to its department store identity. P.A. Bergner & Co., a large conglomerate of department store brands, purchased Carson's for $343 million in 1989, though within just a few years Bergner's filed for bankruptcy. Emerging from its reorganization in 1993 as Carson Pirie Scott and Company, the new corporation was acquired in 1998 by Proffitt's Inc., later owner of Saks Fifth Avenue. In 2006, Carson's was acquired for the last time, by the Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. Though no longer owner of the building, significant repairs of the original State Street building were greatly needed, which would have forced the store to relocate temporarily. Ultimately, it was a price which Bon-Ton was not ready to bear. On February 21, 2007 the original Carson Pirie Scott store on State Street closed its doors. The building has since been restored and houses a mix of retail and office tenants. Carson Pirie Scott continues to exist as of 2014, with approximately 30 stores primarily in the Chicago metropolitan area.

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE:
The majority of this material relates to the various buildings that the company Carson Pirie Scott has been located. This collection is comprised of subject materials such as photographs of multiple buildings, publications by the company and outside publications, financial records, various legal documents, and office records. Other materials include scrapbooks, building layout sketches, and biographical works on Louis Sullivan and the founders of Carson's.

ORGANIZATION AND ARRANGEMENT:
SERIES I: PHOTOGRAPHS, SLIDES & DRAWINGS. Arranged into five subseries: Photos, Architectural; Photos, Events; and Photos, People/Portraits; Photos, Other; and Drawings.

SERIES II: BUSINESS & OFFICE PAPERS. Arranged first into four subseries: Legal & Real Estate, Correspondence, Financial and Office Papers. Within each subseries the material is organized chronologically.

SERIES III: PRINTED PAPERS. Arranged first into two subseries: Publicity on the State St. Fire and Publicity, General.

SERIES IV: SCRAPBOOKS.

SERIES V: CHICAGO ARCHITECTURE FOUNDATION. Arranged into four subseries: Maps and Drawings, Photos, and Business and Office Papers and Publications, General.

SERIES VI: NEGATIVES.

CONTROLLED ACCESS POINTS:
This collection and other related materials may be found under the following headings in online catalogs:
Carson Pirie Scott.
Sullivan, Louis H., 1856-1924.
Department stores, Illinois, Chicago.

ABBREVIATIONS:
AbbreviationDefinition
AICArt Institute of Chicago
BOX.FFBox #, Folder #
c.circa
CPSCarson Pirie Scott
n.d.not dated
Portf.portfolio

PHYSICAL LOCATION:
The collection is housed in the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries' on-site stacks.

ACCESS RESTRICTIONS:
Portions of this collection are restricted; wherever possible, surrogate copies are provided for patron use, as noted in the series listings. The remainder of collection may be used by qualified readers in the Reading Room of the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries at The Art Institute of Chicago. Collections maintained on-site are available for patron use without prior arrangement or appointment. Collections maintained in off-site storage will be retrieved with advance notification; please consult the Archivist for the current retrieval schedule. For further information, patrons are requested to consult http://www.artic.edu/aic/access/access.html

USER RESTRICTIONS:
The Art Institute of Chicago is providing access to the materials in the Libraries' collections solely for noncommercial educational and research purposes. The unauthorized use, including, but not limited to, publication of the materials without the prior written permission of the Art Institute is strictly prohibited. All inquiries regarding permission to publish should be submitted in writing to the Archivist, Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago. In addition to permission from the Art Institute, permission of the copyright owner (if not the Art Institute) and/or any holder of other rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) may also be required for reproduction, publication, distribution, and other uses. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of any item and securing any necessary permissions rests with the persons desiring to publish the item. The Art Institute makes no warranties as to the accuracy of the materials or their fitness for a particular purpose.

PREFERRED CITATION:
Carson Pirie Scott Collection, Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago.

PROCESSING INFORMATION:
This collection was processed by Madison Well and Nathaniel Parks in 2014.

ITEM INVENTORY:
LOCATIONCONTENTSDATESITEMS

SERIES I: PHOTOGRAPHS, SLIDES & DRAWINGS



PHOTOS, ARCHITECTURAL:
Box.FF 1.1
Carson Pirie Scott and Company Store, 1 S. State St., Chicago, IL (1898, Louis H. Sullivan).
Black and white slides. Architectural drawings, construction views, exteriors and details.
c.1898, c.1890s-1950s 30
Box.FF 1.1
Carson Pirie Scott and Company Store, 1 S. State St., Chicago, IL (1898, Louis H. Sullivan).
Black and white photograph. Rendering of main entrance. Possibly detail from advertisement.
c.1940s-1950s 1
Box.FF 1.1
Carson Pirie Scott and Company Store, 1 S. State St., Chicago, IL (1898, Louis H. Sullivan).
Black and white and color slides. Exteriors, interiors and details. Holiday displays.
c.1940s-1960s 8
Box.FF 1.1
Carson Pirie Scott and Company Store, 1 S. State St., Chicago, IL (1898, Louis H. Sullivan).
Black and white photographs. Exteriors of entrance, store window display and fire escape (hoisting up cleaning equipment).
1955, c.1940s-1960s 3
Box.FF 1.1
Carson Pirie Scott and Company Store, 1 S. State St., Chicago, IL (1898, Louis H. Sullivan).
Color photograph. Exterior, holiday displays. Includes the 1965 World Import Fair and "stained glass" windows over main entrance.
c.1950s-1960s 1
Box.FF 1.1
Carson Pirie Scott and Company Store, unknown location (suburban?).
Black and white photograph. Interior, possibly during demolition or renovation. Possibly a basement space (visible drop ceilings).
c.1950s-1980s 1
Box.FF 1.2
Carson Pirie Scott and Company Store, 1 S. State St., Chicago, IL (1898, Louis H. Sullivan).
Black and white and color photographs. 1979 resoration, Office of John Vinci. Includes images of work on iron storefronts, rotunda, floor and terra cotta.
1979 17
Box.FF 1.2
Carson Pirie Scott and Company Store, 1 S. State St., Chicago, IL (1898, Louis H. Sullivan).
Color slides. 1979 resoration, Office of John Vinci. Includes images of work on iron storefronts, rotunda, floor and terra cotta.
1979 21
Box.FF 1.1
Carson Pirie Scott and Company Store, 1 S. State St., Chicago, IL (1898, Louis H. Sullivan).
Color photograph. Exterior, holiday displays. Nutcracker theme.
c.1970s-1980s 1
Box.FF 1.1
Carson Pirie Scott and Company Store, 1 S. State St., Chicago, IL (1898, Louis H. Sullivan).
Black and white photograph. Harold Washington Memorial display window.
11/1987 1
Box.FF 1.1
Carson Pirie Scott and Company Store, 1 S. State St., Chicago, IL (1898, Louis H. Sullivan).
Color slides. Exteriors, interiors and details.
n.d. 5
Box.FF 1.1
Carson Pirie Scott Warehouse, 329 W. 18th St. (1801 S. Lumber St.), Chicago, IL. (1910, Howard Chapman)
Black and white photograph. Exterior. Originally known as the Wenalden Building. Built by the Ferro-Concrete Construction Co. (Cincinnati, OH). Is now known as "River Place." See "University of Illinois Bulletin" no. 64, 01/13/1913, p.47.
c.1910s-1930s 1
Box.FF 1.1
Unidentified factory buildings.
Color photographs. Textile factory and associated buildings.
c.1980s-2000s 6

PHOTOS, PEOPLE/PORTRAIT:
Box.FF 1.4
Carson Pirie Scott founders and employees.
Black and white and color photographs and slides. Including: Dankmar Adler; William H. Avery, Jr.; Cyrus Hall Adams, III; Samuel Carson; John Pirie; Robert Scott; Shock, Bigford & Co. sales cart; Harold R. Spurway and the "Founders".
14

PHOTOS, EVENTS:
Box.FF 1.5
Various.
Black and white and color photographs and slides. Including: 125th Anniversary gala and celebration (1979-1980), "British Fortnight" (1960-1961), British promotion (1967), Chicago World Flower and Garden Show (McCormick Place, 03/11-19/61), Donald Brooks display, "Fifth Avenue of Gifts" display, "Futurescope," "Italy: the Romance and the Reality," "The World, the West and the Orient," unidentified displays (some holiday), unidentified exhibit in Hebrew (c.1960s).
18

PHOTOS, OTHER:
Box.FF 1.5
CPS advertising poster, c.1860s-1870s.
Color photograph and correspondence.
2

DRAWINGS:
OP 1.1
Proposed elevated train platform extension and stairway to CPS. Sketch.
Graphite and ink on tracing papers. Madison and Wabash station, SW platform.
06/19/1905 1
OP 1.1
Plat of survey.
Photostat.
07/21/1923 1
OP 1.1
Plat of survey.
Blueprint.
12/01/1930 1






LOCATIONCONTENTSDATESITEMS

SERIES II: BUSINESS & OFFICE PAPERS



LEGAL & REAL ESTATE:
Box.FF 2.1
Articles of Co-Partnership.
Typescript papers. Signed by partners including: Andrew MacLeish, John T. Pirie, Samuel C. Pirie, John E. Scott and Robert Scott.
1883-1907 15
Box.FF 2.2
Articles of Co-Partnership.
Typescript papers. Signed by partners including: Andrew MacLeish, Bruce MacLeish, Gordon L. Pirie, John T. Pirie, John T. Pirie Jr., Samuel C. Pirie, John W. Scott, Robert L. Scott.
1912-1917 6
Box.FF 2.3
Indenture and Assignment to Lease.
Printed papers. With: Frederick H. Bengel, Lili D. Kranz, Slingsby C. Stallwood
1919 4
OP 1.1
Lease with Eugene R., Charles B. and William W. Pike.
Printed papers.
01/08/1923 1
Box.FF 2.4
Various.
Typescript papers and correspondence. Regarding: State Street store building, deeds, patent claims, leases, real estate, mergers. With: Owen Brewer, Marshall Field, Mary E. Hanley, Hillmans Corporation, Levi Z. Leiter, David Mayer, Andrew MacLeish, Thomas G. Plant Company, Leopold Schlesinger, Schlesinger & Mayer, Henry Siegel, Frank E. Vogel, Western Book & Stationary Company and Otto Young. Includes: deeds (Amboy, IL store), drawings, incorporation papers, leases, telegrams, correspondence and contracts.
1857-1904 22
Box.FF 2.5
Various.
Typescript papers, printed papers and correspondence. Regarding: State Street store building, construction, bay windows, sidewalks and right of way, subways and tunnels, fire escapes and city code compliance, real estate, construction of walkway between elevated train platform and store (North Western Elevated Railroad Company). With: Chicago Warehouse and Terminal Company, City of Chicago Department of Public Works, Samuel A. Crozer, Marshall Field, Kolb and Teich, Isidore Kolb, David Mayer, Andrew MacLeish, John T. Pirie, John T. Pirie Jr., Samuel C. Pirie, Robert Staedter Company, John E. Scott, John W. Scott, Harry G. Selfridge, Schlesinger & Mayer, Julius Teich and Otto Young. Includes contracts, drawing (plat map), leases, legal summons, memoranda, permits and printed matter.
1904-1909 43
Box.FF 2.6
Various.
Typescript papers and correspondence. Regarding: State Street store building, Wabash-Monroe Building, real estate, sidewalks and right of way, taxation. With: Lili Benger (Lili D. Kraus), John Clark, First National Bank of Chicago, Gordon Gilkey, Samuel Katz, Bruce MacLeish, Frederick J. Price, Arthur Rubloff, Frederick H. Scott, Slingsby C. Stallwood and John H. Wood. Includes by-laws, correspondence, contracts, drawing (1st floor plan, 09/1936), leases and memoranda.
1911-1975 30

CORRESPONDENCE:
Box.FF 3.1
Various.
Correspondence. Regarding: construction of Carson Pirie Scott buildings; real estate and leasing; negotiation for new store premises; purchasing new stores such as the Boston store, Partridge, and Hillman locations. With: John C. Fetzer, W.E. Hale, William LeBaron Jenney (Leiter Building), Levi Z. Leiter, Andrew MacLeish, Isaac H. Mayer, Cyrus Hill McCormick, John T. Pirie, Samuel C. Pirie, B.F. Schlesinger, George Scott, Robert S. Scott, George A. Williams.
1895-1902
Box.FF 3.2
Various.
Correspondence. Regarding: negotiations for new store premises. Includes negotiations with Methodist Book Concern, Illinois Bank Building, McCormick Estate, Portland Block, Borden/Kranz/Stewart, Strong/Lyton/Foreman, Board of Education Property, and Stevens/Columbus/Memorial/Venetian.
1898-1904
Box.FF 3.3
Various.
Correspondence. Regarding: State Street store building; construction of Carson Pirie Scott buildings; real estate and leasing; business mergers; New York City properties; Selfridge; Hillmans Corporation; department store legislation; Stevens/Columbus/Memorial/Venetian Buildings. With: Andrew MacLeish, John T. Pirie, Samuel C. Pirie, B.F. Schlesinger, John W. Scott, and Otto Young.
1903-1910
Box.FF 3.4
Various.
Correspondence. Regarding: State street buildings' landmark status; Graham, Anderson, Probst, White addition/renovation; Wilmette Shopping Center store; land sold by CPS in South Dakota. With: William B. Eldredge, George A. Fuller Company, Bruce MacLeish, Robert L. Scott, H.R. Spurway, John D. Weber.
1942-1977

FINANCIAL:
Box.FF 3.5
Various.
Printed papers. Includes: correspondence, notes, receipts, ledgers. Regarding: assets; construction accounts; leases; merger; patents; sales; stock. With: Louis K. Gillson, John T. Pirie,
1896-1903
Box.FF 3.6
Various.
Printed papers. Includes: audit reports, bills and collection notices, correspondence, notes, ledgers, receipts. Regarding: bridges between CPS buildings; construction accounts; Fassett lawsuit; real estate value; rents; stock; Estate of Otto Young. With: Andrew MacLeish, B.F. Schlesinger.
1904-1908
Box.FF 4.1
Various.
Printed papers. Includes: correspondence, notes, ledgers, meeting minutes, receipts, reports. Regarding: construction accounts; George A. Fuller Company estimate for new building; Holabird & Roche renovations; leases; "modernization," summary of air conditioning costs; lighting study by Commonwealth Edison; Estate of Otto Young. With: Gordon L. Pirie, John T. Pirie.
1917-1978
Box.FF 4.2
Carson Pirie Scott Annual Reports.
Printed papers.
1960s-1970s 8

OFFICE PAPERS:
Box.FF 4.3
History of CPS and its founders
Typescript papers and computer printouts. Includes various histories of Carson Pirie Scott; fact sheets; biographical sketch of John T. Pirie. Jr; "James Bolton's Recollections of His Forty years' Experience with the Singer Manufacturing Company;" account of Macy's early attempts to purchase CPS.
1953-1984, n.d.
Box.FF 4.4
Press releases.
Printed papers and computer printouts.
1978-1982, n.d.






LOCATIONCONTENTSDATESITEMS

SERIES III: PRINTED PAPERS



STATE STREET FIRE:
Box.FF 4.5
Newspaper articles and clippings.
Printed papers.
1968

PUBLICITY, GENERAL:
Box.FF 4.6-4.7
Newspaper articles and clippings.
Printed papers.
1872-1997






LOCATIONCONTENTSDATESITEMS

SERIES IV: SCRAPBOOKS


Box.FF 5.1
Scrapbook [7].
Printed papers.
1956
OP 2
Scrapbook [1].
Printed papers.
1960s
OP 6
Scrapbook [2].
Printed papers.
01/1976-05/1977
OP 4
Scrapbook [3].
Printed papers.
05/1977-12/1977.
OP 1
Scrapbook [4].
Printed papers. "Scandinava Saga."
1970s
OP 3
Scrapbook [5].
Printed papers. State Street location.
1970s
OP 5
Scrapbook [6].
Printed papers.
1980s






LOCATIONCONTENTSDATESITEMS

SERIES V: CHICAGO ARCHITECTURE FOUNDATION



MAPS & DRAWINGS:
Box.FF 5.2
Various.
Photocopies. History of CPS building sites. Includes site maps and plans, floor plans, related correspondence and newspaper articles. Some material duplicate of originals found elsewhere in collection.
1800s, 1900, 1984, n.d.

PHOTOS:
Box.FF 5.3
Construction, exterior and interior views.
Photocopies. Includes 1903-1906 construction photos with commentary by engineer Joseph Ott, 1984.

BUSINESS PAPERS & OFFICE PAPERS
Box.FF 5.4-5.5
Various.
Photocopies. Includes CPS histories; biography of Kristian Schneider (Louis H. Sullivan sculptor); interviews with employees; legal documents; book excerpts. Some material duplicate of originals found elsewhere in collection.

PUBLICATIONS, GENERAL:
Box.FF 6.1-6.2
Newspaper articles, clippings and book excerpts.
Photocopies.






LOCATIONCONTENTSDATESITEMS

SERIES VI: NEGATIVES



ARCHITECTURAL:
REST
Construction, exterior and interior views.
Negatives. Includes: sidewalk constuction.
68
REST
Construction, exterior and interior views.
Negatives. Includes: State street additions (1960); State and Madison corner views (1956).
1960s 39
REST
Construction, exterior and interior views.
Negatives. Includes: State and Madison street location.
58







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