This massive limestone structure was built by Hiram Norton between 1848 and 1855. The building was constructed by expert masons from stone quarried from the bed of the Illinois and Michigan Canal which abuts the Norton property.
At one hundred by one hundred feet, this three and one-half story building was used to store, process, package, and distribute barrels of grain to the growing Midwest and Western populations. A nautical store, corporate offices and sleeping quarters for the 'canal boys' rounded out the building's uses. Norton, Inc. was sold to American Grains in 1897 and was subsequently purchased by Quaker Oats. Grain and processing operations ceased in the 1950s when the building was sold to a steel fabricator.
Presently the site of commercial businesses, private loft apartments, the Norton Concert Series and the Illinois State Museum, the Norton Building is again contributing to the economic and cultural life of Lockport.