• Mata Traders
  • 25 Jun, 2015

Have you heard of the Deagan Building? It’s at the intersection of Ravenswood Avenue and Berteau Avenue here in Chicago, and here’s why should know it: Mata Traders’ headquarters is located in the building.

We’ve been here for over a year and have wondered about the history of the building, so we decided to do a little research. We found some pretty interesting information!

A beautiful commercial building originally designed by architect F.E. Davidson and constructed in 1919, it was used by a manufacturer of percussion instruments, J.C. Deagan Co. They were famous for their development of the xylophone, chimes, marimba, orchestra bells (fun fact: the famous NBC chimes were their creation!), and other mallet-based instruments.

While the J.C. Deagan Company left the building in the mid-sixties, much of the structure remains the same.

Notice the structural accents at the top of the columns (and the pipes!) remain the same today.

Walls of windows let in tons of sunlight, still.

One of our favorite features of our building, not to mention the most recognizable and unique feature, is the clock tower. Above it there’s a cupola which used to have large chimes hanging from the ceiling that played whenever the clock struck noon, though there’s a debate on the chimes’ existence vs. the use of a recording. The tower still bears the company name and today the building houses us and other local businesses including a furniture design business (they recently moved but we still love them!), artist and photography studios, and a design firm.

We were lucky enough to shoot some of our Spring ’15 Catalog in the clock tower and cupola of the Deagan building, and ended up with some fabulous photos. The space looks like it hasn’t been touched in years (except for pigeons), and the view is one of a kind.

deagan building 1


Chicago_skyline_deagan_buildingThe Chicago skyline, from the Deagan clock tower.

We also shot in the stairwells, on the loading dock, on the front steps, all over! The building was a great location for the shoot because the variety of spaces have many different moods – plus, you’d never guess that it’s an office building! Now that we know the history of the Deagan building, we see why it was the perfect backdrop for our vintage-inspired clothing line. We’re thrilled to learn more about it and so happy to work here!

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