Crain’s Chicago Business recently reported that Columbia College, the recently new-ish owner of the original Johnson Publishing Company building, is, in fact, looking to sell the original JPC building. Columbia bought the building in 2010, while I was still working as an editor (and writer) at Ebony. The recent news encouraged me to take a trip down memory lane to a time when Johnson Publishing Company was still housed in the old building at 820 S. Michigan. (Ebony and Jet, which were recently acquired by a new company, are currently housed in a new-ish, swanky location across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago.) At the time, I was the Senior Writer and then the Senior Editor of Ebony, where I wrangled covers, wrote cover stories on celebs and helmed entertainment, books, business and lifestyle coverage (amongst other things.)
I hope that someone can buy that building and perhaps put it on the national historic registry. It deserves to be there. It’s a part of national, and Chicago, history. That said, I took a swing through my old cellphone and found a few photos taken inside the 820 building. The images are a bit blurry because, well, old technology. I have a ton of photos, but here are the first few that popped up. Here goes.