The Michigan–Wacker Historic District is a National Register of Historic Places District that includes parts of the Chicago Loop and Near North Side community areas in Chicago, Illinois, United States. The district is known for the Chicago River, two bridges that cross it, and eleven high rise and skyscraper buildings erected in the 1920s. Among the contributing properties are the following Chicago Landmark structures:
Other notable sites include Pioneer Court the Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable Homesite (401 North Michigan), which as the site of Chicago's first permanent residence is a National Historic Landmark, and the Wrigley Building (410 North Michigan). Across the Michigan Avenue Bridge is the former site of Fort Dearborn, the US Army post established in 1803. To the west is the Heald Square Monument, a statue of George Washington and the financiers of the American Revolution.
The district includes contributing properties with addresses on North Michigan Avenue, East Wacker Drive, North Wabash Avenue and East South Water Street. Other streets in the district are Rush Street, Hubbard, Illinois and Kinzie. The majority of these properties are on Michigan, with addresses ranging from 230 North Michigan to 505 North Michigan. The district also includes parts of Michigan, Wacker and East South Water, which are all among the many multilevel streets in Chicago. Most of its contributing high-rise buildings and skyscrapers are of either Gothic or Baroque architecture, in addition to Art Deco. The district is north of the Historic Michigan Boulevard District.
Michigan–Wacker Historic District
North of Michigan Avenue Bridge
|Area||29.5 acres (119,000 m2) |
|Architect||Holabird & Roche|
|Architectural style||Gothic, Other, Skyscraper|
|NRHP reference #||78001124|
|Added to NRHP||November 15, 1978|
333 North Michigan is a skyscraper in the art deco style located in the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois in the United States. Architecturally, it is noted for its dramatic upper-level setbacks that were inspired by the 1923 skyscraper zoning laws. Geographically, it is known as one of the four 1920s flanks of the Michigan Avenue Bridge (along with the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower and the London Guarantee Building) that are contributing properties to the Michigan–Wacker Historic District, which is a U.S. Registered Historic District.Additionally, it is known as the geographic beneficiary of the jog in Michigan Avenue, which makes it visible along the Magnificent Mile as the building that seems to be in the middle of the road at the foot of this stretch of road (pictured at left). The building was designed by Holabird & Roche/Holabird & Root and completed in 1928. It is 396 feet (120.7 m) tall, and has 34 storeys.
It was designated a Chicago Landmark on February 7, 1997. It is located on the short quarter mile stretch of Michigan Avenue between the Chicago Landmark Historic Michigan Boulevard District and the Magnificent Mile.
Designed by John Wellborn Root, Jr., the building's long and narrow footprint and towering structure are a tribute to Root's father John Wellborn Root's earlier Chicago Monadnock Building; Louis Sullivan's tall-building canon; and Eliel Saarinen's second-prize entry in the Tribune Tower design contest. The building was such a success that Holabird and Root took commercial residence there. The building's long and slender design optimized use of natural lighting. The building's interior represents Prohibition era modernism, especially its Art Deco Tavern club.The building is embellished by a polished marble base, ornamental bands, and reliefs depicting frontiersmen and Native Americans at Fort Dearborn, which partially occupied the site.35 East Wacker
35 East Wacker, also known as the Jewelers' Building, is a 40-story 159.4 m (523 ft) historic building in the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois, United States, located at the intersections of Wabash Avenue, and facing the Chicago River. It was built from 1925 to 1927, and was co-designed by Joachim G. Giaver and Frederick P. Dinkelberg. It was once considered to be the tallest building in the world outside New York City. Formerly the Pure Oil Building and North American Life Insurance Building, 35 East Wacker was listed in 1978 as a contributing property to the Michigan–Wacker Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places, and was designated a Chicago Landmark on February 9, 1994.For its first 14 years, the building had a car lift that served the first 23 floors and facilitated safe transfers for jewelry merchants. Currently, the French-American Chamber of Commerce in Chicago is a tenant, and the showroom of architect Helmut Jahn was atop the building inside the dome, which was also once a restaurant called the Stratosphere Club, often erroneously said to be run by Al Capone. (In reality, the Stratosphere Club opened in 1937, long after Capone was imprisoned and too late for the building to have been an illegal speakeasy). The building is currently being renovated, by Goettsch Partners, and the facade is being maintained, but the interiors converted into a more modern configuration. Both the Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the City of Chicago have recognized the renovation project with awards.First Chicago Bank
First Chicago Bank was a Chicago-based retail and commercial bank tracing its roots back to 1863. Over the years, the bank operated under several names including The First National Bank of Chicago and First Chicago NBD (following its 1995 merger with the former National Bank of Detroit). In 1998, First Chicago NBD merged with Banc One Corporation to form Bank One Corporation, today a part of Chase.Fort Dearborn
Fort Dearborn was a United States fort built in 1803 beside the Chicago River, in what is now Chicago, Illinois. It was constructed by troops under Captain John Whistler and named in honor of Henry Dearborn, then United States Secretary of War. The original fort was destroyed following the Battle of Fort Dearborn during the War of 1812, and a second fort was reconstructed on the same site in 1816. By 1837, the fort had been de-commissioned. Parts of the fort were lost to both the widening of the Chicago River in 1855, and a fire in 1857. The last vestiges of Fort Dearborn were destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The site of the fort is now a Chicago Landmark, located in the Michigan–Wacker Historic District.Heald Square Monument
The Heald Square Monument is a bronze sculpture group by Lorado Taft in Heald Square, Chicago, Illinois. It depicts General George Washington, and the two principal financers of the American Revolution, Robert Morris and Haym Salomon. Following Taft's 1936 death, the sculpture was completed by his associates Leonard Crunelle, Nellie Walker and Fred Torrey.Heald Square is located in the Michigan–Wacker Historic District of Chicago's Loop community area. The square was named for Captain Nathan Heald, commander of Fort Dearborn from 1810-1812.The sculpture was designated a Chicago Landmark on September 15, 1971.Historic Michigan Boulevard District
The Historic Michigan Boulevard District is a historic district in the Loop community area of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States encompassing Michigan Avenue between 11th (1100 south in the street numbering system) or Roosevelt Road (1200 south), depending on the source, and Randolph Streets (150 north) and named after the nearby Lake Michigan. It was designated a Chicago Landmark on February 27, 2002. The district includes numerous significant buildings on Michigan Avenue facing Grant Park. In addition, this section of Michigan Avenue includes the point recognized as the end of U.S. Route 66. This district is one of the world's best known one-sided streets rivalling Fifth Avenue in New York City and Edinburgh's Princes Street. It lies immediately south of the Michigan–Wacker Historic District and east of the Loop Retail Historic District.Jean Baptiste Point du Sable
Jean Baptiste Point du Sable (also spelled Point de Sable, Point au Sable, Point Sable, Pointe DuSable; before 1750 – August 28, 1818) is regarded as the first permanent non-Indigenous settler of what later became Chicago, Illinois, and is recognized as the "Founder of Chicago". A school, museum, harbor, park, and bridge have been named in his honor. The site where he settled near the mouth of the Chicago River around the 1780s is identified as a National Historic Landmark, now located in Pioneer Court.
Point du Sable was of African descent but little else is known of his life prior to the 1770s. During his career, the areas where he settled and traded around the Great Lakes and in the Illinois Country changed hands several times among France, Britain, Spain and the new United States. Described as handsome and well educated, Point du Sable married a Native American woman, Kitiwaha, and they had two children. In 1779, during the American Revolutionary War, he was arrested by the British military on suspicion of being an American sympathizer. In the early 1780s he worked for the British lieutenant-governor of Michilimackinac on an estate at what is now the city of St. Clair, Michigan.
Point du Sable is first recorded as living at the mouth of the Chicago River in a trader's journal of early 1790. He established an extensive and prosperous trading settlement in what later became the city of Chicago. He sold his Chicago River property in 1800 and moved to St. Charles, now in Missouri, where he was licensed to run a Missouri River ferry. Point du Sable's successful role in developing the Chicago River settlement was little recognized until the mid-20th century.London Guarantee Building
The London Guarantee Building or London Guaranty & Accident Building is a historic 1923 commercial skyscraper whose primary occupant since 2016 is the LondonHouse Chicago Hotel Formerly, for a time named the Stone Container Building, it is located near the Loop in Chicago, and is one of four 1920s skyscrapers that surround the Michigan Avenue Bridge (the others are the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower and 333 North Michigan Avenue) and is a contributing property to the Michigan–Wacker Historic District. It stands on part of the former site of Fort Dearborn. The building was designated a Chicago Landmark on April 16, 1996.Magnificent Mile
The Magnificent Mile, sometimes referred to as The Mag Mile, is an upscale section of Chicago's Michigan Avenue, running from the Chicago River to Oak Street in the Near North Side. The district is located adjacent to downtown, and one block east of Rush Street. The Magnificent Mile serves as the main thoroughfare between Chicago's Loop business district and its Gold Coast. It is generally the western boundary of the Streeterville neighborhood, to its east and River North to the west.
Real estate developer Arthur Rubloff of Rubloff Company gave the district its nickname in the 1940s. Currently Chicago's largest shopping district, various mid-range and high-end shops line this section of the street; approximately 3,100,000 square feet (290,000 m2) are occupied by retail, restaurants, museums and hotels. To date, rent on The Magnificent Mile is the eighth most expensive in the United States, behind Fifth Avenue in New York and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.Tall buildings, such as the 875 North Michigan Avenue are in the district. Landmarks along the Magnificent Mile include Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, the Chicago Water Tower, and the Allerton, Drake and Intercontinental Hotels.Mather Tower
Mather Tower (later Lincoln Tower, as designated on the Michigan–Wacker Historic District roster; now identified primarily by its address) is a Neo-Gothic, terra cotta-clad high-rise structure in Chicago, Illinois, United States. It is located at 75 East Wacker Drive in the downtown "loop" area, adjacent to the Chicago River.
The 521-foot-high building is sometimes called "The Inverted Spyglass" by Chicagoans due to its highly unusual design, an 18-story octagonal tower atop a more conventional 24-story rectangular "box." Briefly the tallest building in Chicago at the time of its completion in 1928, it remains the city's most slender high-rise structure at only 100 by 65 feet at its base. The interior space within the upper octagonal spire contains the least square footage per floor of any Chicago skyscraper.It was designed by Herbert Hugh Riddle (1875–1939), the architect of the Chicago Theological Seminary, as headquarters for the Mather Stock Car Company, a builder of rail cars for transporting livestock. Its design was greatly influenced by the pioneering Chicago Zoning Ordinance of 1923, which placed no limit on the height of new buildings as long as the surface area of the structure's uppermost floor did not exceed 25% of its footprint. This resulted in a multitude of tall, slender, "setback" towers, of which the Mather is an extreme and unusual example. The top floor of the octagonal spire has only 280 square feet (26 m2) of floor space.Mather Company's founder, Alonzo Mather (a descendent of Cotton Mather) is said to be responsible for a number of the building's distinctive design features, including the octagonal tower. Initial plans called for construction of a second, identical building on North Michigan Avenue, behind the Mather and connected to it by a ground-floor arcade, but onset of the Great Depression in 1929 forced its cancellation.By the 1990s the building had fallen into significant disrepair. In 2000 the 4-story "cupola" at the top of the building was demolished because of structural deterioration and safety concerns, after chunks of terra cotta began falling from the facade. Damage was sufficiently extensive that consideration was given to dismantling the remaining 17 stories of the octagonal spire as well.In 2000 Masterworks Development Corporation purchased the structure and undertook a complete restoration. In November 2002, the final phase of the project was initiated when a helicopter lifted the steel framework for a new cupola from a river barge to the top of the tower.The lower, rectangular portion of the building currently houses the River Hotel, while the octagonal upper stories are occupied by a branch of the Club Quarters chain of membership corporate accommodations.
Mather Tower was designated a Chicago Historic Landmark in 2001, and in 2006 it received a National Preservation Honor Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.Michigan Avenue (Chicago)
Michigan Avenue is a north-south street in Chicago which runs at 100 east on the Chicago grid. The northern end of the street is at Lake Shore Drive on the shore of Lake Michigan in the Gold Coast Historic District. The street's southern terminus is at Sibley Boulevard in the southern suburb of Harvey, though like many Chicago streets it exists in several disjointed segments.As the home of the Chicago Water Tower, the Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium Park, and the shopping on the Magnificent Mile, it is a street well known to Chicago natives as well as tourists to the city. Michigan Avenue also is the main commercial street of Streeterville. It includes all of the Historic Michigan Boulevard District and most of the Michigan–Wacker Historic District, including the scenic urban space anchored by the Michigan Avenue Bridge.Michigan Avenue Bridge
The Michigan Avenue Bridge (officially DuSable Bridge) is a bascule bridge that carries Michigan Avenue across the main stem of the Chicago River in downtown Chicago, Illinois, United States. The bridge was proposed in the early 20th century as part of a plan to link Chicago's south side and north side parks with a grand boulevard. Construction of the bridge started in 1918, it opened to traffic in 1920, and decorative work was completed in 1928. The bridge provides passage for vehicles and pedestrians on two levels; it is an example of a fixed trunnion bascule bridge, which is also known as a "Chicago style bascule bridge". The bridge is included in the Michigan–Wacker Historic District and has been designated as a Chicago Landmark.
The location is significant in the early history of Chicago. Events from the city's past are commemorated with sculptures and plaques on the bridge, and exhibits in the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum—housed in one of the bridge tender houses—detail the history of the Chicago River.National Register of Historic Places listings in Central Chicago
Currently there are 125 National Register of Historic Places listings in Central Chicago, out of 374 listings in the City of Chicago. Central Chicago includes 3 of the 77 well-defined community areas of Chicago: the historic business and cultural center of Chicago known as the Loop, as well as the Near North Side and the Near South Side. The combined area is bounded by Lake Michigan on the east, the Chicago River on the west, North Avenue (1600 N.) on the north, and 26th Street (2600 S.) on the south. This area runs five and one-quarter miles from north to south and about one and one-half miles from east to west.
The Chicago central city area includes many early classic skyscrapers of the Chicago School of Architecture, such as Burnham and Root's Monadnock and the Reliance Buildings, as well as buildings from the early Modernist period, such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's IBM Building and 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments. Chicago's earliest surviving building, the Henry B. Clarke House is on the Near South Side, close to the Prairie Avenue District, which many critics view as the jewel of residential Chicago architecture. Architect Louis Sullivan's work is represented by the Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company Building, and Auditorium Building. Though Frank Lloyd Wright worked downtown early in his career as an assistant to Sullivan - including work on the James Charnley House - his own work in the central city is represented only by a renovation of the lobby of Daniel Burnham's and John Wellborn Root's Rookery Building.
At least three sites relate to the city's role in nationwide retailing. Included also are several religious buildings, six hotels, and four theaters.
This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted April 12, 2019.Streeterville
Streeterville is a neighborhood in the Near North Side community area of Chicago, Illinois, United States, north of the Chicago River. It is bounded by the river on the south, the Magnificent Mile portion of Michigan Avenue on the west, and Lake Michigan on the north and east, according to most sources, although the City of Chicago only recognizes a small portion of this region as Streeterville. Thus, it can be described as the Magnificent Mile plus all land east of it. The majority of the land in this neighborhood is reclaimed sandbar.Named for George Streeter, the neighborhood contains a combination of hotels, restaurants, professional office centers, residential high rises, universities, medical facilities, and cultural venues. The area has undergone increased development in the early 21st century as numerous empty lots in Streeterville have been converted into commercial and residential properties, especially in the southern part of the neighborhood. The neighborhood had earlier experienced booms following World War I and World War II.Tribune Tower
The Tribune Tower is a neo-Gothic skyscraper located at 435 North Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, United States. It was the home of the Chicago Tribune, Tribune Media, and tronc, Inc., formerly known as Tribune Publishing. WGN Radio (720 kHz) originated broadcasts from the building until moving to 303 Wacker Drive in June, 2018. The last WGN Radio broadcast emanated from the Tribune Tower on June 18, 2018. The ground level houses the large restaurant Howells & Hood (named for the building's architects), whose patio overlooks nearby Pioneer Court and Michigan Avenue. CNN's Chicago bureau was also located in the building. It is listed as a Chicago Landmark and is a contributing property to the Michigan–Wacker Historic District. The original Tribune Tower was built in 1868, but was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. In early 2018, work began on converting the entire office building into condominiums, expected to be completed by 2020.Trump International Hotel and Tower (Chicago)
The Trump International Hotel and Tower is a skyscraper condo-hotel in downtown Chicago, Illinois. The building, named after businessman and current U.S. President Donald Trump, was designed by architect Adrian Smith of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Bovis Lend Lease built the 98-story structure, which reaches a height of 1,388 feet (423.2 m) including its spire, its roof topping out at 1,171 feet (357 m). It is next to the main branch of the Chicago River, with a view of the entry to Lake Michigan beyond a series of bridges over the river. The building received publicity when the winner of the first season of The Apprentice reality television show, Bill Rancic, chose to manage the construction of the tower over managing a new Trump National Golf Course and resort in Los Angeles.
Trump announced in 2001 that the skyscraper would become the tallest building in the world, but after the September 11 attacks that same year, he scaled back the building's plans, and its design underwent several revisions. When topped out in 2009, it became the fourth-tallest building in the US. It surpassed the city's John Hancock Center as the building with the highest residence (apartment or condo) in the world, and briefly held this title until the completion of the Burj Khalifa.
The design of the building includes, from the ground up, retail space, a parking garage, a hotel and condominiums. The 339-room hotel opened for business with limited accommodations and services on January 30, 2008, then full accommodation and services on April 28. The building topped out in late 2008 and construction was completed in 2009. As of 2015, the hotel is among three in Chicago with an elite five-star Forbes Travel Guide rating. Sixteen was one of five restaurants in Chicago with at least a Michelin Guide two-star rating in 2016 and one of three five-star Forbes-rated restaurants in the city until it closed in 2018. The spa is one of six with at least a four-star Forbes rating in the Chicago area in 2015.
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