Tagged ‘Alex Dunham Brokenpress Design Furniture‘

Our Feature in Crain’s Chicago Business’ Startup Roundup

We are very excited to be featured in Crain’s Chicago Startup Roundup! Scroll down to the second article to see our feature, which includes a mention of our installation at the Fine Arts Building. We are excited about this type of exposure, and hope it gets the word out to new Brokenpress fans.

Crain's Chicago Startup Roundup Brokenpress

Brokenpress’ feature in Crain’s Startup Rounup





Groove in the Lounge during the Fine Arts Building’s Second Friday

Chicago is known as one of the best cities in the world for architecture. One of the oldest structures along Michigan Avenue has been around since 1885:  the Fine Arts Building at 410 S. Michigan Avenue. It’s been known as the “Nation’s Oldest Artist Colony,” but that’s not how it began.  It was first known as the Studebaker Building from 1885 – 1898 as their carriage assembly and showroom. According to the Fine Arts’ website, in 1890, the Studebaker brothers added 4 stories for the Art Institute to the building, which helps explain the two styles to the building’s exterior.

Brokenpress Fine Arts Building Chicago

The beautiful 410 S. Michigan Avenue

In 1898 there was an extensive renovation, and then it became known as an Artist’s Studio building. Artists, sculptors, writers, musicians and architects used these studios for over 100 years. In 1961, the Artists Cafe  opened and remains a staple on Michigan Avenue with it’s charming lighted sign and counter seating. There’s free wi-fi, too!

Brokenpress Fine Arts Building Futility

Artists Cafe at 410 S. Michigan Avenue

Besides the Fine Art Building’s gorgeous exterior, it’s the restored interior which is definitely worth seeing. The elevators are original and still use hand operators; that alone is worth stopping in! You can tour the building alone or take a proper tour.

Brokenpress Fine Arts building chicago

Grab an elevator on the left

The Chicago Architecture Foundation offers a $10 tour the first Tuesday of every month.  If you don’t want to wait until August, then stop on by this Friday, July 11th from 5pm – 9pm, and explore all ten floors for free during their Second Friday Open Studios tour.

Brokenpress Fine Arts building chicago

When you’re there, be sure to take a hand-operated elevator ride to the 5th floor to see Chicago Custom Costumes‘ gallery space.  Vintage vinyl will be spun in the mid-century modernized lounge created by Chicago’s Brokenpress Design+Fabrication and Futility Studios.  Brokenpress Design+Fabrication’s creates stunning furniture using fallen Chicago trees, along with steel and aluminum. Brokenpress’ main focus is audio component and vinyl record storage, but this lounge will feature rift-sawn hardwood tables and the Plotkin hutch in addition to the signature audio credenza. With vinyl making a big comeback, people need a place to store their records. Brokenpress offers many solutions. Futility Studios artfully brings the garage into the living room by reconstructing vintage car and motorcycle parts as unique lights suitable for any home, grotto, or (man)cave. Together, they pair up wonderfully.

Groove along with vintage sounds in their lounge on the 5th floor from 5-9pm this Friday, and enjoy the studios and works of other artists throughout the building at 410 S. Michigan Avenue. If you can’t make it, the Brokenpress and Futility lounge will be on display through July.

Brokenpress Futility fine arts chicago

Don’t miss the  Brokenpress and Futility Lounge on the 5th floor


Furniture made with Chicago Hardwood

Furniture made from reclaimed wood is definitely hot these days. People enjoy seeing pieces of lumber salvaged to create a distressed piece of furniture. However, distressed lumber might not have the same appeal of local urban forestry lumber, What’s the happy medium to having sturdy, solid hardwood furniture that’s still environmentally responsible? At Brokenpress, we use responsibly forested hardwood for our furniture, but some customers are asking for something even more sustainable. For those requests, we go to  Horigan Urban Forest in Skokie, IL.
What’s great about Horigan is the lumber they carry comes from fallen tress in the Chicago area. It’s a source of solid, hardwood local which came about naturally and without a tree being cut down, and isn’t trucked across the US to get to us. A lot of black walnut, we were told, simply gets turned to mulch. Instead, we’ve created a new life for it at Brokenpress.
We’re working on a special project for Morlen Sinoway Atelier‘s 10th Annual Guerrilla Truck Show on June 10th, and chose some live edge black walnut for the piece. After Alex hand selected the boards, he brought them back to the shop to mill, thickness, size and get ready for glue ups for panels.

In addition to our super-secret Truck Show project, Alex was also able to create another surfboard table. Check out how his finishing technique really brings the color of the black walnut to life. Who would think this as reclaimed?

Now, whenever I see a huge tree cut down from a storm, I want to wonder, Is it going to go to Horigan?  It might be! They do offer the history on some of the wood pieces when they have it.

If you’re looking for a piece of custom furniture using reclaimed hardwood, don’t think you’re limited to something distressed. Brokenpress can build you a custom piece of modern furniture that’s been given a second life. Live outside of Chicago? Don’t worry, Brokenpress offers delivery options, too. We can provide a custom quote for the project and for shipping, just send us an email and we’ll get back to you.