Chicago Architecture Info

Harpo Studios

Formerly known as Chicago Studio City
Niles Communications Center
Fred Niles Studios
National Guard Second Regiment Armory
1058 West Washington Street
Chicago, Illinois 60607
Basic Information
Type industrial
Neighborhood: West Loop
Bounding Streets:
West Washington Street
West Randolph Street
North Carpenter Street
North Aberdeen Street
More Information
  • Floor space: 88,000 square feet
  • 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.
  • 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.