Gensler released the plans for its renovation and restoration of the famed Graham, Anderson, Probst & White Post Office in Chicago. The 1932 structure, out of commission since 1997, will be used for office space, retail space, a conference center, tenant amenities, a food hall, a roof deck, parking, and a river-facing lawn. Renovations will cost over $600 million to overhaul the building that, at 2.5 million square feet, can hold an impressive 2,000 people per floor. It is currently the largest redevelopment in the United States. Officially dubbed “The Post Office,” the project features a spiffy new logo that evokes wings in flight, a motif that appears throughout the initial renderings as light fixtures and design elements. While certain original features are restored, such as the postmaster’s office, lobby, mail chutes and scales (the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001), interiors are pointedly geared toward millennials (lest you think this is too presumptuous, the fitness center is depicted with the slogan, “Sweat is just fat crying.”). Throughout the space, exposed ceilings are juxtaposed with warm wood, cozy leather, and midcentury modern furnishings, with large expanses of glass revealing views of Chicago and that iconic limestone facade. The exterior is largely untouched, albeit with a four-acre roof deck on top that will hold an impressive amount of amenities, including park space, cafes, a quarter-mile running trail, and sports courts. “We fully recognize the historical significance of this building,” Brian Whiting, president of the Telos Group, which will oversee parts of the project, said in a statement. “When the Post Office was built, Chicago was the center of catalog retail sales and the building was designed to handle fulfillment for the largest operators, including Sears, Roebuck & Company and Montgomery Ward. Fittingly, The Post Office will once again serve to promote the commerce industry, including the e-commerce companies that have replaced catalog houses, but this time with cutting-edge office space.” According to the project's representation, The Post Office's anticipated new tenants have already spurred the development of nearby residential projects in anticipation of the new-old hub roaring back to life.
Posts tagged with "Chicago Old Main Post Office":
After over 20 years sitting empty, Chicago’s Old Main Post is set to be redeveloped. The City of Chicago announced a court-approved agreement which will allow 601W Companies LLC to begin the renovations and restoration immediately. 601W is also the owner of Chicago’s AON Center, Prudential Plaza, and the former Montgomery Ward warehouse. Over the next five years, 601W will transform the multi-million-square-foot structure into office space for an estimated 12,000 workers. As part of the agreement with the city, 601W will start the renovation by replacing the roof, refurbishing the building’s facade, and restoring the buildings historic Art Deco lobby. A series of deadlines have been established for the work over 2016, 2017, and 2018. Improvements will also include new high speed elevators, public space along the river, new mechanical systems, and updated plumbing and electrical. The previous owner, International Property Developers North America, have agreed to pay $800,000 to the city for building code violations that began in 2012. 601W will work to remedy those violations as well. The Post Office was built in phases from 1921 through 1932. Designed by Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Gensler is the design architect for the redevelopment. “With Gensler’s prior experience on the Post Office, we come with a long standing familiarity to the site and building. Additionally, our design for the redevelopment of 600 West Chicago, and our work with tech office and creative spaces in both the Merchandise Mart and Fulton Market brings added planning experience and redevelopment expertise to the Post Office project,” remarked Grant Uhlir, Principal and Managing Director of Gensler Chicago.
International Property Developers (IPD) has renewed plans for massive developments around Chicago’s Old Main Post Office. IPD bought the structure in 2009 for $40 million and has been working with Chicago-based architects Antunovich Associates on a plan to surround the massive building, which has almost as much interior space as Willis Tower, with three new towers. The first phase, expected to take 5-7 years, would be a 100-story tower with 800,000 square feet of retail, 2,900 residential units, and 525,000 square feet of office space. Following that, a second 2,000-foot-tall tower would go up, adding 3,500 residential units, 1.5 million square feet of office space, and 920 hotel rooms. The project’s 5,700-space parking garage, rising six stories, would be built during the first phase, project representatives said at a public meeting Tuesday. Those numbers are daunting, but so is the original acquisition, after all. They would need a sizable anchor tenant to lend the proposal some economic legitimacy. A casino, perhaps? Aldermanic support for the $3.5 billion development has apparently not waned, nor has scrutiny of its decidedly suburban sensibility and so-far uninspiring design.
Could that hulking behemoth, Chicago’s Main Post Office, see new life at last? According to the Sun-Times’ David Roeder, developer Bill Davies is betting on it, and he has brought Antunovich Associates to the table. If talk of a downtown casino has any merit, the Post Office could be the right place for it. The massive 1921 building (expanded in 1932) comprises 2.5 million square feet downtown, looming over Congress Parkway. Davies’ fanciful plans for the facility have grabbed headlines since 2009, when the US Postal Service first put it on the auction block. Mayor Rahm Emanuel is still pushing the state legislature for a casino license, touting the potential revenue as a much-needed influx for school construction and repairs.
Developer Bill Davies has engaged Philip Johnson/Alan Ritchie Architects to investigate possibilites for the Old Main Post Office Building on West Van Buren, according to a report in the Sun-Times. Davies aquired the massive structure from the city at auction, and speculation has been rife as to what could be done with the building, which is built over several north/south rail lines. Ritchie declined elaborate on the plans. In addition to the future of the Post Office, we were left wondering how long Johnson's name will remain attached to the firm. He passed away in 2005.