The Cold War on Washington Avenue
- Wilmette Life (Wilmette, Illinois), 23 Dec 2010, p. 20, 22
- Wilmette Historical Museum Staff, Author
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- By 1950, U.S. Army planners had come to realize that they needed to know much more about the icy regions between America and the Soviet Union. In 1951 the U.S. Army set up a research on cold in an abandoned laundry, at 1215 Washington Ave., in Wilmette, half a block west of Green Bay Road. They called it SIPRE -- the Snow, Ice and Permafrost Research Establishment. (Acrynonym is pronounced "sip-ree.") The Washington Avenue building was constructed in the late 1920s, when Joseph Krauss added a third story and opened it as Krauss Cleaning and Dyeing Company in 1928. SIPRE expanded over time, opening office space in the Odd Fellows building next to Millen Hardware, and setting up a lab in Evanston, in another abandoned laundry. In 1961, however, the Army merged SIPRE with another agency and moved it into a purpose-built structure in Hanover, N. H.
Reproduction of a vintage ad for Kraus Cleaning and Dyeing Company, 1215 Washington Ave., (Wilmette Directory, 1928). Photograph of Tom Olson and his assistant, Glen Walker, at work in a SIPRE "cold room" in 1955. Photo courtesy of the Wilmette Historical Museum.
- Date of Publication:
- 23 Dec 2010
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- Snow, Ice and Permafrost Research Establishment (SIPRE)
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Illinois, United States
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