Green Light the Restoration of the Century and Consumer's Buildings!

Green Light the Restoration of the Century and Consumer's Buildings!

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After many years of uncertainly and vacancy, the historically-sensitive adaptive reuse of the Century and Consumers Buildings on South State Street is poised to begin, but requotes the approval of the Federal Goverment's GSA.

A extensive renovation is planned for the four building cluster, including the two historic skyscrapers and two adjacent low-rise buildings. The plan will create retail along the State Street frontage and restore and adaptively reuse the tall terra cotta office buildings as archives for a variety of religious groups and civic organizations. T

Preservation Chicago has been highly concerned about the deferred maintenance and deteriorating condition of these buildings and they twice made the Chicago 7 Most Endangered list, in 2011 and again in 2013. Preservation Chicago has worked for years to concieve and advance a plaousible adaptive reuse plan for these important buildings. Multiple adattive reuse options for residential were rejected by the GSA due to proximity to the Federal Court buildings at Federal Center.

Originally, the proud and elegant Century and Consumers Buildings buildings were part of a thriving and vibrant State Street Retail District. The 16-story Century Building at 202 S. State Street was designed by Holabird and Roche in 1915. The 22-story Consumers Building at 220 S. State Street/1 W. Quincy Court was designed by Jenny, Mundie & Jensen in 1913.

Preservation Chicago requests that the State Street and Quincy elevations of the Consumers Building will be restored to include original rooflines, frieze band, fascia, and cornice, along with the store fronts and lobby.

Another, smaller building dating from 1886 and located at 214 S. State Street should also have its historic façade restored. The streamlined, high-style Art-Moderne storefront at 214 S. State with its black vitrolite, colored terrazzo, silver banding, and exuberant circular glass window display is highly intact and a rare survivor from State Street’s rich history. Preservation Chicago hopes that particular care and sensitivity will be taken to protect and restore this highly significant element.

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