Merchandise Mart

Merchandise Mart, Chicago: Hours, Address, Merchandise Mart Reviews: 4/5

Merchandise Mart
4
Architectural Buildings • Shopping Malls
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
About
The largest commercial building in the world. First two floors are essentially a mall, and the rest is business offices.
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Tours & experiences
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Near North Side
How to get there
  • Merchandise Mart • 2 min walk
  • Clark/Lake • 6 min walk
Popular mentions

4.0
142 reviews
Excellent
55
Very good
58
Average
23
Poor
5
Terrible
1

Taylor B
Chicago, IL7,381 contributions
World's largest commercial building
Oct 2020
If you are a native Chicagoan or have ever visited the city, you probably walked past or drove past the Merchandise Mart. But have you ever spent any time inside the building? Have you ever been inside the world's largest commercial building, a structure so large that it once had its own zip code, a building so massive that it has been known as "a city within a city?" Located at 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, at Kinzie Street between Orleans and Wells, on the Chicago River just east of Chicago's original trading post at Wolf Point, the junction of the river's North and South Branches, in downtown Chicago, the Merchandise Mart is a leading retailing and wholesale destination that hosts 20,000 visitors and tenants per day. Built by Marshall Field & Company and owned by the Kennedy family for half a century, it centralized Chicago's wholesale goods business by consolidating architectural and interior design vendors and traders under a single roof. Opened in 1930, the 25-story Art Deco style structure is spread across two square city blocks and includes 4.2 million square feet of floor space. Its construction required 29 million bricks, 40 miles of plumbing, 380 miles of wiring, 4 million cubic yards of concrete and 4,000 windows. Visitors also marvel at the 7.5 miles of corridors and 30 elevators. In 1977, the Chicago Apparel Center was opened on the west side of Orleans Street, increasing the Merchandise Mart's total floor space to 6.2 million square feet. Since 2010, the design center showroom has been open to the public. The retail shopping area, named The Shops at the Mart, opened in 1991 and includes apparel shops, beauty services, news stands and bookstores, financial services, travel services, telecommunications services, specialty food and wine stores, photo services, a dry cleaner, shoe shine stand and food court. In addition, a 521-room Holiday Inn is housed in the Apparel Center. Since 1969, the Merchandise Mart has hosted the annual National Exposition of Contract Furnishings with over 1,000 exhibitors and 50,000 attendees, the largest trade show of his kind in North America. Oh, the building isn't just big. The first floor is beautiful, too. An architectural masterpiece. The lobby features artist Jules Guerin's frieze of 17 murals which graphically illustrate commerce throughout the world. Is a visit to the Merchandise Mart a once-in-a-lifetime experience? My wife and I vividly recall going on a day-long shopping trip with a home designer to buy new furniture for our apartment. One glitzy showroom after another. One purchase, a grand mirror for our entryway, took two weeks to be shipped from England. At the Merchandise Mart, everything is first-rate.
Written 26 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kenneth M
8 contributions
Large
Jul 2019
It is a shoppers paradise. There is so many products and vendors that t would take a lot more the a day to shop.

I had to put a date below. It was November 2017
Written 29 June 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

charlesthebarles
wilmington, NC232 contributions
EHHHH...
Feb 2020
This beautiful Art Deco building is not worth a visit unless you have interpreters that can tell you what you're looking at. Building personnel do run tours. Every couple of weeks in the winter Chicago Architecture Center offers 45" tours, but our guide merely did a lot of historical name-dropping and couldn't answer questions about how the art deco elements were incorporated into the structure. While it's nice current owners have been restored the gorgeous lobby and made the building economically viable with corporate offices, its working environment offers little for visitors with few shops. Eating choices reduced to a fast food court. It didn't help that not all the information screens that were supposed to guide you around were not functioning properly.
Written 27 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

mcscathie
4 contributions
Beautiful architecture
Dec 2019
Traveled there for "One of A Kind Show" Always and interesting pre Christmas trip into Chicago.The buiding is a massive and impressive building that is showing some age in its upper floor that housed the show. Beautiful first floor, well worth the stop.
Written 12 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

losAdesigner
Los Angeles, CA13 contributions
The most impressive assortment of furniture, carpets and rugs, accessories in one place,
May 2019
NeoCon is the fabulous show that packs more furniture, fabric, lighting, art, accessories anywhere outside NYC.
Written 8 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

STL Foodie
Saint Louis, MO3,156 contributions
Outdoor Market
Sep 2019 • Business
Decent food court options with a Potbelly and Starbucks below the food court. Not a lot of shopping options. Clean.
Written 11 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

lablife46
Kingston Upon Hull356 contributions
Magnificent & Perfect evening entertainment
Aug 2019 • Family
The huge building is impressive and a sight to see. In its heyday it must have dominated the shoreline. On an evening it becomes the focal attraction on the ‘Riverside Walk’ and is illuminated as ‘Art on the Mart’ - gran a drip/ bite to eat (there’s lots of local vendors) and soak up the visuals ( it’s a free treat!)
Written 8 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Taylor B
Chicago, IL7,381 contributions
It doesn't get any bigger than this, does it?
Jan 2019 • Couples
A few years ago, while redesigning our apartment, we joined our home designer to Chicago's Merchandise Mart to shop for new furniture and lighting and mirrors and other fixtures. We went from one showroom to another. By the end of the day, we thought we had walked from one end of Chicago to the other. What an imposing building! Completed in 1931, the Merchandise Mart was the world's largest commercial building for a period of 10 years. Located on the north bank of the Chicago River between Wells Street and Orleans Street, it is 25 floors high and two city blocks long with 13.6 miles of corridors. Only the Pentagon in Washington, DC, is larger. It once was owned by Joseph P. Kennedy of the famous Kennedy clan, which included President John F. Kennedy, Attorney General Robert Kennedy and Senator Edwin Kennedy. Renovated between 1986 and 1991, the Merchandise Mart now contains a public shopping arcade on the first two floors, which contains retail stores and restaurants. On the outside, along the river, often overlooked, are a series of eight pillars with large busts on top. Created in 1953, this is the Merchant's Hall of Fame and each of the bronze busts represent a famous retailer such as Marshall Field and Frank Woolworth. Guided tours are available. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes.
Written 3 February 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Desmondtan2015
Singapore, Singapore111 contributions
Big furniture display mall
Nov 2018 • Business
Possibly one of the biggest office furniture mall in the world. Love the architecture and the endless space.. can easily spend 1 day here if one is looking solely for system furniture
Written 11 December 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

debbieand13
Saint Louis, MO23 contributions
ONE OF A KIND SHOW
Dec 2018 • Friends
Went here for the one of a kind art show. We try to make it every year for one of the 2 shows. I am not sure it would be worth going here other then for something special or to look at the architecture. Nice building and a great venue to hold such a big show, The show is always crowded but lots of good finds.
Written 10 December 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Merchandise Mart

Merchandise Mart is open:
  • Mon - Fri 09:00 - 17:00
  • Sat - Sat 10:00 - 15:00
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