Our office was in the 33 N. Dearborn building in Chicago, on the 22nd floor. It was unusually warm for March that year. The city was experiencing a heat wave. To make the tenants more comfortable, the building’s facilities manager turned on the air-conditioning system.
Unfortunately, the system had not been properly maintained. In short order, everything that could have gone wrong with the rooftop equipment did go wrong.
At 7:00 am on March 15, as Steve emerged from the building elevator and started to walk into our office lobby, he stopped in his tracks. Workers were everywhere, scurrying around, while water came pouring in through the ceiling and walls, flooding the entire office. Thousands of gallons of water emptied onto the roof and into the building, flowing down through several floors. With only two unoccupied floors above our space, our office took the brunt of the disaster.
We moved the firm into the building’s management office (yes, we kicked them out!). It was on the third floor, had no windows, and was one-quarter of the size of our space on the 22nd floor. So we were constantly in each other’s way. It was 10 months before all of the repairs in our office were finished and we could move back upstairs. Amazingly, no files or evidence were destroyed by the flood. We remained in that office until 9 years ago when we relocated to 230 W. Monroe Street.