The Lee Allison Company occupies half a floor of an industrial
brick building on the north side of Chicago (in Bucktown, if you
know the neighborhood). This is where we create all of our designs.
This is also the warehouse for all Lee Allison products. So when
you order something from us, it’s shipped from right here.
The building itself is 100 years old and was originally built as
a tannery. Our unit is a true loft—4,500 square feet of open,
relatively raw space. It’s basically one big room, although
it does have two bathrooms, a kitchen and a separate bedroom. It
has brick walls and a 14-foot exposed beam ceiling, supported by
solid nine-inch square timbers situated every 16 feet.
From the ceiling we’ve suspended a huge sail (yep, from a
boat) and a variety of vintage silk screens; they look cool but
they also catch the stuff that falls from the ceiling (wood, dust,
pebbles). We’ve set up lights behind the silk screens so that
they they’re back-lighted at night and give off a soothing
The highlight of the loft is the 125-foot-long southern wall which,
with ten windows along its length, floods the loft with natural
light and offers a postcard view of the muscular city of Chicago,
two miles to the south-east.
It’s the perfect place to have a tie company.