“It smelled like a frat house after a really long weekend.”
~ Marty O' Donnell on Bungie's first Chicago offices
“It was in the middle of some pimp-laden, infested, drug-horrible place in the south side of Chicago.”
~ Marty O' Donnell on the location of Bungie's first Chicago offices
Someone once said that everything has to start somewhere. (Who that was is unknown at the time of this writing, but in terms of originating the most overused cliches in history, he's got to be near the very, very top pinnacle of that profession.) This saying holds especially true for Bungie, who originated in the depths of the south side of Chicago.
In 1991, Bungie's only two employees were Alex Seropian and Jason Jones. Throughout the development of Gnop!, Minotaur, Pathways Into Darkness and Bungie's other early games, the duo had their headquarters in a musty and decrepit girls' religious school. When the T1 Internet connection broke down, they were forced to search the entire building over for it, so that the AT&T tech was nearly ready to give up looking by the time Jason Jones broke down the door to the basement.
While searching the basement, the connection-hunting brigade stumbled upon a mass of ancient student desks and the much-cited Bungie Swimming Pool of Death: a dilapidated swimming pool with a clear six inches to a foot of sludge in the bottom. Eventually the T1 line was found in an abandoned boiler room with so much corrosion that it flaked off the walls.
The Bungie team later moved up to the north side of Chicago(at 350 West Ontario Street, 7th floor, Chicago, IL 61610) near the O' Donnell - Salvatori recording studio that later burned down (for more on this, please see the Total Audio Studios article). After that sad event, Marty eventually became a full-time employee of Bungie, and ten days after that, in May of 2000, Bungie was acquired by Microsoft.