The Merchandise Mart is a commercial building located in downtown Chicago, Illinois. When it was opened in 1930, it was the largest building in the world, with 4 million square feet of floor space. The Art Deco structure is located at the junction of the Chicago River's branches. The building is a leading retailing and wholesale destination, hosting 20,000 visitors and tenants per day as of the late 2000s.
Built by Marshall Field & Co. and later owned for over half a century by the Kennedy family, the Mart centralized Chicago's wholesale goods business by consolidating architectural and interior design vendors and trades under a single roof. It has since become home to several other enterprises, including the Shops at the Mart, the Chicago campus of the Illinois Institute of Art, Motorola Mobility, and the Chicago tech startup center 1871. It was later sold in January 1998 to Vornado Realty Trust.
The Merchandise Mart is so large that it had its own ZIP Code until 2008, when the Postal Service assigned the ZIP Code to part of the surrounding area. In 2010, the building opened its Design Center showrooms to the public.