One Prudential Plaza in Chicago

Photo of One Prudential Plaza in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of One Prudential Plaza in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
  Scroll down for more pictures  
Photo of One Prudential Plaza in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of One Prudential Plaza in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of One Prudential Plaza in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation

The orange cone

Posted to the Flickr Pool by mercer52

Add your photos!

Royalty-free architecture stock photography

One Prudential Plaza
Also known as:One Pru
Formerly:The Prudential Building

130 East Randolph Street, Chicago, Illinois, The Loop 60601
Previous   Random   Next

Print this page   •   Share this page   •   Map This

Nothing screams 1950's architecture like a big limestone box with an equipment penthouse on the roof. There was an entire generation of architecture, not just in Chicago, where square stone, white, or glass boxes were in. The result is towers like this. Lifeless from a distance, they might as well hold cattle or cardboard boxes, for they completely fail to translate the imagination and inspiration of the human spirit into architectural form. They completely fail to soar skyward, but rather constrain people inside; obedient paper-pushers in their cubicle farm Hell. While that may seem a bit harsh, it's buildings like this that reflect not the grand spirit of freedom, but the conformity that inspired so many Soviet-era apartment blocks in Eastern Europe. Still, One Prudential Plaza isn't completely without merit. To start, it turned a portion of a dirty rail yard into productive commercial space. Further, this was the first skyscraper erected in the city after the Second World War, so that should count for something. Moreover, the building actually sports a work of art. The Prudential company's Rock of Gibraltar logo is in relief with gold accents on the lower extension of the building. This was executed by Alfonso Ianelli.

Quick Facts
  • Rentable floor space: 1,200,000 square feet
  • September, 2010: This building was named #29 on Chicago Magazine's list of the Top 40 Buildings in Chicago.
Did You Know?
  • This was the tallest building in Chicago when it was completed, taking that title away from the Chicago Board of Trade.
Look For
  • The company's logo (the Rock of Gibraltar) in relief on the 1968 addition. It was created by Alfonso Iannelli.
Related Links
Rate This Skyscraper
method='post' action='/Building.php?ID=1013#Rate'>Current rating:50% 70%  name='Rating' id='Rating' value='Praise' class='Plain'> name='Rating' id='Rating' value='Raze' class='Plain'>
Your Thoughts

There are eight comments.

  I grew up in Chicago during the 1960s and I very much disagree with your viewpoint. Far from lifeless The Prudential building has a simple, elegant, timeless beauty. And it did soar skyward. I remember going up to the top and looking out. It gave a sense of awe when it was the tallest building in Chicago. Some of the buildings that followed, John Hancock Center and Sears [now Willis] Tower fall into the lifeless category. It may be dwarfed by the herd of buildings around it today, but it will always stand out to me.

Michael Gempe - Sunday, December 4th, 2016 @ 6:06am  

  My husband, who died in June 2016, would have been 102 years old in November went from the Prudential office in Newark, New Jersey, where he worked, to help with the opening of the mid west office of Prudential Insurance Co. He wrote Mayor Richard Daley's speech for the opening of the office and remained and worked in this building, P1, for 10 years before returning to the Newark, N.J. office to work until his retirement.

Delores MacKay - Tuesday, August 30th, 2016 @ 7:52pm  

  My dad was a Prudential insurance agent from the 50's to the 70's. I was born in 57'. My dad would take me and my two brothers Ronsnoz and Densnoz to the Prudential building! It was fun! Up and down the elevators at 6 years old. Pretty cool!Rich M

Rich M - Thursday, February 4th, 2016 @ 10:42am  

  My grandpa was working on this Building since 1952 until 1955, about 3 years and 6 months. He´s mexican and still alive. So proud of him.

Daniel Vargas del Toro - Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014 @ 12:12pm  

  My dad was working in Chicago when this opened. I remember him telling me it had the fastest elevators in the world.

Ed L. - Sunday, August 10th, 2014 @ 11:07pm  

  One of the more creative features of the building's original design was its window system, designed to eliminate the need for external window washing. Windows were mounted on vertical center pivots, and held in place by inflatable rubber moldings. When washing was needed, the molding was deflated, enabling the former outside surface of the window to be rotated to the inside for safe, easy cleaning. The weakness of the system was the gradual deterioration of the moldings. Eventually, in 1997-98, the original system was replaced by more conventional fixed windows.

Alan Follett - Saturday, September 15th, 2012 @ 10:51am  

  I think this building is super, because it was constructed in the mid fifties, and for a couple of decades afterwards the observation deck on about the 39th or 40th floor was a downtown destination.

Mike K - Sunday, January 17th, 2010 @ 4:52pm  

  I love seeing old photos of when the 'P1' dominated the skyline in the mid 1950s. first skyscraper built after WWII in chicago. THough I wish they kept the original font on the 'Prudential' sign... very modern!

Kirby Cruz - Tuesday, November 10th, 2009 @ 6:55pm