WIN: Old Main Post Office Renovation Underway

The redevelopment of the Old Post Office is moving ahead. 601W Companies is the project developer and Gensler is the architecture firm for the massive $600 million renovation plan. According to the Chicago Tribune, renovation of the Post Office represents the single largest redevelopment project in the country. Extensive new amenities will include a three-acre rooftop park/fitness center, a large food market, restaurants, a landscaped riverwalk and outdoor cafes lining the river frontage.

Designed by Graham, Anderson, Probst and White, the building was completed in 1932. The reuse of this important Chicago Landmark building has been a top priority for the preservation community, including Preservation Chicago and Landmarks Illinois, for over 25 years. Multiple schemes had been presented over the years, many which included partial demolition of portions of this massive building. Preservation Chicago testified in opposition to all of the previous development proposals that included partial demolition. We are thrilled that the ongoing restoration work will restore the entire historic structure.

After decades of preservation advocacy since it was shuttered in 1996, the Old Main Post Office was awarded Preliminary Landmark Status at the October 2017 meeting of the Commission of Chicago Landmarks. Preservation Chicago testified strongly in support of awarding Chicago Landmark Designation status to the building and its spectacular two-story lobby during many legal proceedings and commission meetings. Chicago Landmark Designation protects the 2.8 million-square-foot Art Moderne gem from future demolition or partial demolition.

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