Originally constructed by the Allis Chalmers Company in the early 1900s, Summit Place was part of Allis Chalmers’ 130-acre manufacturing campus which at its height employed more than 17,000 people. Allis Chalmers manufactured some of the world’s largest machinery at this location, and enjoyed great success through the 1970’s. Its industrial machinery filled countless mills, mines, and factories around the world, and its brand gained fame among consumers mostly from its farm equipment business’ orange tractors and silver combine harvesters. Summit Place’s use as a manufacturing facility continued through Allis Chalmers’ 1987 liquidation bankruptcy.
When Allis Chalmers dissolved it was purchased with the idea of converting it into a multi-tenant office building. At first the building now known as Summit Place was leased as simply storage/industrial space. In 2002 planning began to convert the northern portion of this space - approximately 200,000 square feet- to office. In the Spring of 2003 work began on the conversion, and by September the first tenants took occupancy. Summit Place proved so successful that over the next three years the 200,000 square foot project more than tripled to the current 664,228 square feet.
Although much of the original manufacturing plant was demolished, approximately 900,000 square feet of industrial facilities remained. As mentioned above, in 2003 work began to convert the three remaining industrial buildings into Summit Place (a total of four buildings). Given these buildings essentially had 40 foot clear heights, three new steel-framed floors were constructed inside each building to maximize usable office space. Existing roof framing was left exposed, and existing skylights were repaired and upgraded to provide natural light and increase productivity.
The building retained much of its industrial aesthetic by featuring exposed structural steel frames, high ceilings, steal roof trusses, skylights, and exposed original brick walls. The addition of windows and mechanical systems brought the building up to modern standards. To tie the complex together, a four-story addition with a four-story atrium was constructed along with skywalks and a new three-story parking garage. The building has approximately 2,500 people working here that are offered numerous amenities to create the charming community of today’s Summit Place.