I’ve long admired the Reebie Storage Warehouse, even purchased some moving supplies from there back in the 1990s, even though I probably didn’t need to. I have taken dozens of photos of the place over the years, a few of which are Flickr-ized
I had a vague sense that the building was Egyptian Revival, but didn’t really glom onto the details until I discovered this blog post on the new BluePrint Chicago blog:
Egyptology was all the rage in the early 20th century, particularly after the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1922. One effect this had was seen in the popularization of Egyptian Revival architecture across the United States. However, not all of the buildings were equals in terms of being historically accurate. Some buildings fit into the category of Egyptian Revival, and some Academic Egyptian Revival. Egyptian Revival architecture was much more common, and though it had many Egyptian-like elements, it lacked a sensibility to Egypt’s history. Instead they were “picturesque” – which is lovely, but not necessarily accurate. Academic Egyptian Revival architecture was historically accurate. And The Reebie Storage Warehouse is one the country’s finest examples of Academic Egyptian Revival architecture.
The warehouse was based on two ancient Egyptian temples: Dendera and Edfu, both of which date back to the reign of Pharaoh Ramses II (around 200 BCE). The columns on the Reebie building are replicas of columns at the Temple Horus at Edfu. The ornamentation on them is symbolic of the unity of Ancient Egypt through the depiction of the bundled lotus flower which represents Upper Egypt, and the water lily representing Lower Egypt. On either side of the building’s entrance is a statue of Ramses II, representing the two Reebie brothers: William and John. Beneath the two statues are William and John’s names written in the hieroglyphic equivalent of their phonetic spellings. Two other hieroglyphic inscriptions read “I have protection upon your furniture and all sealed things” and “I have guarded all your property every day warding off devouring flames, likewise robbery.” All of the ornamental drawings for the Reebie warehouse were reviewed for accuracy by both the Field Museum and Art Institute prior to their implementation.
[Click to continue reading Reebie Storage Warehouse « BLUEPRINT: Chicago]
[via The Chicago Reader]