firm active: 1907-1921

minneapolis, minnesota :: chicago, illinois
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Gusto Cigarette Factory, project
Purcell and Elmslie
Minneapolis, Minnesota   1914

Text by William Gray Purcell

Parabiographies entry for Gusto Cigarette Factory

Commission Date (in Parabiographies): [1914]

Here was the only case where we were completely taken in by a wholly worthless and unprincipled fellow. I say "wholly taken in", but we did escape loaning him actual cash in addition to the work we did on his project. Many another, we were to learn, did not fare so well. The promoter of this company was the son of a physician who lived across the street from our home [in Oak Park, Illinois] when I was a boy. He blew into Minneapolis with a grand manner and most plausible plans. The opportunity to build a really functional factory building fascinated us, and Mr. Elmslie produced a building which finds its parallel only in the very best things done by the young Saarinen and Wright-trained men of today. Young Storke [the client] got all he could out of Minneapolis during an intensive promotion of his cigarette company over a period of a month or so, and then completely disappeared. Of course, we proceeded no farther than the making of preliminary sketches. We learned afterwards that he was bouncing from city to city, working his idea for all there was in it, partially financed the while by a doting grandmother in Chicago who knew all his worthless ways but still was unable to resist his guile.


   Collection: William Gray Purcell Papers, Northwest Architectural Archives, University of Minnesota [AR:B4d1.8]





research courtesy mark hammons