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Whirlpool Turning 100, Opens Chicago Biz Center


The world’s largest appliance manufacturer is turning 100 next year and celebrated
the milestone by starting work on a new, consolidated
corporate campus, opening a central business facility in
Chicago, and unveiling an anniversary logo that will herald
a year-long centennial celebration.

The new Chicago facility, dubbed “The World of Whirlpool
Corporation,” occupies nearly 30,000 square feet
in the city’s Reid Murdoch
Center and features
working kitchens,
laundry rooms,
garages, outdoor
entertaining areas
and flexible meeting
space. Described as
a “flagship brand and
product experience
center,” the showroom
is more readily accessible than Whirlpool’s corporate
campus here, and will become the company’s de facto
meeting and training facility for retailers, sales associates,
builders, designers and the media.

“Opening in Chicago … made sense to our business,”
said Marc Bitzer, president of Whirlpool North America.
“The location offers a central travel hub for trade customers
and industry influencers from throughout the world …
and a vibrant design community.”

In turn, Whirlpool will consolidate its sprawling corporate
facilities from 15 owned and leased sites throughout
Benton Harbor and nearby St. Joseph, to three main area
campuses, including a new three-building, three-story
complex in Benton Harbor that will be built over the next
five years. Whirlpool broke ground on the project on Nov.
11, its founding date, and also began work that day
on a 1 million-square-foot, premium cooking-product
plant in Cleveland, Tenn.

The groundbreaking ceremonies, and the ringing of
the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange by
chairman/CEO Jeff
Fettig, helped usher
in a year-long centennial
celebration that
will be highlighted by
a new 100th anniversary
logo. The logo
will be introduced at
all Whirlpool locations
worldwide, and
used in both external
and internal communications.

“The 100th Anniversary logo reflects Whirlpool Corporation’s
heritage, global reach and our eye towards the
future,” Fettig said. “But while we have a proud history,
this is really about looking forward to the next 100 years
and how we will continue to influence home and family life
for future generations.”

Other events planned throughout the year will include:

• the publication of an official history of Whirlpool

• the launch of an employee volunteerism program rallying
employees to contribute 100 volunteer hours;

• select facility tours for corporate partners
and media; and

• documentaries and media appearances
highlighting the company’s history and accomplishments.
The company was founded by Lou Upton,
Emory Upton and Lowell Bassford, who introduced
the first electric wringer washing machine
in 1911.