Marshall Field and Company built their third permanent store in 1892 after fires damaged their first two. By 1907, through the acquisition of adjacent buildings and the construction of new ones, the department store occupied the entire block bounded by State, Washington, and Randolph Streets and Wabash Avenue in Chicago's Loop. This location was key for other businesses in the city's emerging retail district. Field himself emphasized the importance of customer service and is considered to be one of the leading figures in the development of the department store.
Still serving its original purpose, the 12-story granite building shows little exterior alteration and exhibits an interior that has retained much of it original vitality. This Commercial style building is primarily based on the designs by Daniel Burnham. The first two stories feature smooth granite pilasters that separate the bays and cover the steel support piers. An entablature with a dentilated cornice rises above the 10th floor. The 11th and 12th floors compose the crown with its recessed windows and fluted Ionic columns. These columns span both floors and support the cornice which caps the building. - NPS