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Re-opening the top floors

In the early 2000s, after the major renovation was completed, Marshall Field's shifted to a new strategy focused on bringing in designer boutiques. For years, the upper floors had gone unused. Metal screens barricaded the upper-floor openings. So, in addition to renovating the floors to accommodate "stores within a store," we were asked to remove the screens and restore the view to the top-most floors.

"QUALITY is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort. There must be a will to produce a superior thing; a clear conception of what quality is; a knowledge and skill equal to the purpose at hand; a willingness to test the product under any condition."

1946, Marshall Field's Annual

A partnership based on quality

Our relationship began with Marshall Field's almost synonymously with the time Pepper Construction was founded. Though we didn't build any of the original buildings, we've covered about every square inch of the store and its back-of-house operations. Our relationship has survived multiple ownership transitions, from Marshall Field's to BATUS, to Dayton Hudson Corporation/Target, to May Department Stores and finally, to Federated Department Stores.

Marshall Field's reputation was established on delivering the highest quality and customer service. We like to think our relationship has endured because our companies are so well aligned. The knowledge of Pepper’s team - to understand the task at hand, plan and deliver the work - went above what was asked. As Marshall Field's instructed his sales associates to treat every customer the same, whether they were purchasing fine jewelry or a spool of thread, we've never looked at our work as a single project but instead considered how we could make the relationship successful – and it has been for 90 years.

Merchandise Mart

Other clients influenced by Field's:

  • Art Institute of Chicago
  • John G. Shedd Aquarium
  • Merchandise Mart
  • University of Chicago



  • Pepper Construction archives
  • Frango
  • The Department Store Museum
  • Tribune photo by Charles Cherney, April 13, 1992.
  • Tribune photo by Chris Walker, April 16, 1992.
  • The Trolley Dodger


  • Goddard, Leslie. Remembering Marshall Field's (Images of America). Charleston, Arcadia Publishing, 2011.
  • McGowan, Ann. Beyond Bricks and Mortar: A Proud 75-Year History and Heritage, Cicero, Printing Arts Chicago, 2003.
  • Soucek, Gayle. Marshall Field's: The Store that Helped Build Chicago (Landmarks). Charleston, The History Press, 2010.
  • Wendt, Lloyd, and Herman Kogan. Give the Lady What She Wants: The Story of Marshall Field & Company. 1997.