Harpo Studios in Chicago

Photo of Harpo Studios in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz. Licensed to Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Harpo Studios in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz. Licensed to Artefaqs Corporation

Chicago, Illinois

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Harpo Studios
Formerly:Chicago Studio City
Formerly:Niles Communications Center
Formerly:Fred Niles Studios
Formerly:National Guard Second Regiment Armory

1058 West Washington Street, Chicago, Illinois, West Loop 60607
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Quick Facts
  • Floor space: 88,000 square feet
  • 1915: This cold storage warehouse was used as a temporary morgue after the Eastland Disaster.
  • 1940's: This building was converted into a roller skating rink called Roller Bowl.
  • 1984: Congressman Morgan Murphy and a local union leader purchased this building from Fred Niles Studios. There was controversy over the purchase because it was accomplished with a loan from the State of Illinois at an unusually low rate.
  • 1988: A group of investors, including Oprah Winfrey bought this building for use as the headquarters of Harpo Studios.
  • 1989: The Oprah Winfrey Show finished moving into this building.
  • This building was originally a cold storage warehouse, and because of that it was where many of the bodies from the Eastland steamship disaster were taken until they could be identified.
  • When Oprah Winfrey and her investors purchased this building for her studios in the 1980's, she became only the third woman in American entertainment history to own her own studio.
  • When Oprah Winfrey moved the production of her talk show to this building from WLS-TV in The Loop, state and local economic development officials speculated that it would draw other production companies to the area. It didn't happen.
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