Essential Architecture-  Chicago South and West

Chess Records Office and Studio


Horatio Wilson; remodeling by John S. Townsend, Jr. and Jack S. Wiener


2120 S. Michigan Ave.


1911; remodeled for Chess in 1956-57




brick, terracotta clad


Office Building
"2120" is internationally known as the site of some of the world's most influential Blues and Rock n' Roll music recordings, including "Johnny B. Goode," "Rescue Me," and "Red Rooster." Between 1957 and 1967, brothers Leonard and Phil Chess made this modest facility the creative home for such artists as Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Howlin' Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Chuck Berry. Many of these musicians were southern-born African-Americans who had come to Chicago in the wake of the "great migration" of the early- and mid-20th century. The notoriety of Chess Records inspired other musicians including the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds, to record here in the mid-1960s.


With special thanks to the City of Chicago website, , for much of the info on this page.
Photos copyright City of Chicago.