By Joe Petrie – Mass Transit Magazine (www.masstransitmag.com)
October 7, 2013
Outside of Freedman Seating Co. on Chicago’s west side, there’s little indication one of the country’s major transit component manufacturers is housed inside.
A parking lot for a handful of cars sits outside an unassuming white factory building with two blue stripes going across the length of the building sits in one of the city’s impoverished neighborhoods. A small shop is situated across the street, which is torn up and decorated with one of the countless “Building a new Chicago,” found across the city advertising a capital improvement project underway.
But behind the white walls lies a company making seats that most transit riders in the U.S. have unknowingly sat on. Office employees even sit on the seats with a board room that has driver seats set up with swivel wheels instead of traditional office chairs.
And inside executive Vice President Dan Cohen’s office, he even has two classical chairs with fold out tables he found and had reupholstered with the same fabrics so he could have them for guests.
“They’re classics,” he said.
Much like the chairs, Freedman is also a classic company in transportation.