Visionary capitalist who created the Union Stock Yards, Central Manufacturing District - the first industrial park in the world and builder of Chicago's famed International Amphitheater.
1859-1953 | Artist: Robert Wadsworth Grafton (1876-1936)
Impact & Accomplishments
The son of a Boston mayor, Frederick Prince became one of America’s most successful capitalists, with deep connections to the Union Stock Yards.
He invested in the Chicago Junction Railway—the connecting line that tied all of the stockyard rail companies together—and, eventually, he had controlling interest in dozens of other, smaller rail companies. He purchased small industry businesses and merged them into Union Stock Yards.
Prince purchased land around the stockyards, as well as rail hubs in Chicago, establishing the first industrial park in the world: the Central Manufacturing District. Eventually, he repeated that industrial real estate model in other cities. Foreseeing the stock market crash of 1929, Fred Prince protected his investments and looked for bargains, including gaining control of Armour and Company in the early 1930s.
As chairman of Union Stock Yards, he financed the construction of buildings lost in the 1934 fire, commissioning artist Robert Grafton to repaint the lost Saddle & Sirloin portraits and building Chicago’s famed International Amphitheater. Since his surviving son had no interest in his business interests, Prince adopted his third cousin, William H. Wood, then an adult, as his heir.
Frederick Wood and his wife established the Prince Charitable Trusts in 1947, a philanthropic foundation with giving programs in Chicago, Washington, D. C., and Rhode Island.
Did You Know?
Freight House No. 5, Chicago Junction Railway (National Wool Warehouse and Storage Company Building in background) 1915 - Central Manufacturing District (Chicago, Ill)
The International Amphitheatre was an indoor arena, located in Chicago, Illinois, United States, between 1934 and 1999. It was located on the west side of Halsted Street, at 42nd Street, on the city's south side, adjacent to the Union Stock Yards. The arena was built for $1.5 million, by the Stock Yard company, principally to host the International Livestock Exhibition. The arena replaced Dexter Park, a horse-racing track that had stood on the site for over 50 years prior to its destruction by fire in May 1934. The completion of the Amphitheatre ushered in an era where Chicago reigned as a convention capital. In an era before air conditioning and space for the press
and broadcast media were commonplace, the International Amphitheatre was among the first arenas to be equipped with these innovations. Photo source: Wikipedia