After many years of uncertainty, the Illinois Institute of Technology Main Building’s preservation-sensitive adaptive reuse began in spring 2017. Built in 1893 for the Armour Institute of Technology, this Romanesque Revival building received landmark status in 2004. By 2014, the building was mostly vacated due to the required significant investment to repair interior and exterior elements. In 2015, it was added to Preservation Chicago’s 7 Most Endangered List. IIT issued an RFP for redevelopment proposals which included a high priority on historic preservation. The Chicago 7 nomination helped to generate wider awareness within the development community regarding the RFP. In early 2017, IIT selected Ohio-based developer MCM Company and is pursuing an adaptive reuse plan that “will restore this historic Chicago Landmark and convert it to residential apartments.”
Preservation Chicago wishes to recognize and applaud the efforts of Illinois Institute of Technology and Bruce Watts as the highly conscientious steward of their many historic buildings, including early buildings such as late nineteenth century Main Building, as well as mid-century Mies van der Rohe landmarks such as 1956 Crown Hall.