Citigroup Center in Chicago

Photo of Citigroup Center in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Citigroup Center in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
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Photo of Citigroup Center in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Citigroup Center in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Citigroup Center in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Citigroup Center in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Citigroup Center in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Citigroup Center in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Citigroup Center in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz. Licensed to Artefaqs Corporation

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Citigroup Center
Formerly:Citicorp Center
Formerly:Northwest Atrium

500 West Madison Street, Chicago, Illinois, West Town 60661
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Text by Wayne Lorentz

A massive hulk of a building that manages to not feel imposing in spite of its girth. The Citigroup Center combines reflective glass with setbacks to maximize office space while remaining pedestrian-friendly.

In essence, this building is actually a group of three traditional Art Deco towers attached shoulder-to-shoulder and clad in blue glass. The massing of a shaft on top of a podium with additional setbacks at the top is a method used for a hundred years to make sure that light reaches street level. By covering this building in reflective blue glass it maximizes the amount of light it shares and also helps blend into the sky to reduce its visual footprint.

Though some believe the shape of the building is reminiscent of a cash register to represent its largest tenant, it is actually intended to look like a waterfall to help link it to the nearby Chicago River.

Part of the reason for the spread at the bottom of the building is to incorporate a shopping mall and the Ogilvie Transportation Center, a busy suburban commuter railroad station.

Quick Facts
Statistics
  • Floor space: 1,460,000 square feet
  • Retail space: 83,000 square feet
  • Atrium height: 80 feet.
  • Elevators: 24
Timeline
  • April, 1987: The commuter rail concourse portion of this project opened to the public.
  • December 8, 2007: Inventor Joe Jackson snapped and began shooting up a law office on the 38th floor of this building. Three people were killed and one wounded before police managed to kill the gunman.
  • October, 2013: This building was sold to KBS Realty Advisors for $435 million.
Notes
  • This was formerly the location of the Chicago & North Western railroad station
  • Architect: Helmut Jahn
Stacking Diagram
41: 
32-40: 
31: 
20-30: 
18-19: 
17: 
14-16: 
13: 
4-12: 
Mezzanine: 
3: 
2: 
1: 
B1: 
Did You Know?
  • This was formerly the site of the Chicago and NorthWestern rail terminal, built in 1911 by Frost and Granger.
Look For
  • The shape of the upper stories, which some people believe resembles a giant old-fashioned cash register.
Rate This Skyscraper
method='post' action='/Building.php?ID=1041#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 seven comments.

  The building is very, very impressive from the outside. In the last three years, I have noticed a decline in housekeeping of the floors and elevators. Daytime female security is also very unprofessional to borderline rude.

Abby - Saturday, January 28th, 2012 @ 12:38pm  

  This the first biggest bulding in my life that I started to work as a store boy. I use to see the bulding n was teling my parents that, Dad, it's so beautiful and biggest bulding in the world. We don't have bulding like this in India as all. I am so luck to work here. People are so different. They are so educated and have lots of money. I get big inspiration from here. Every singe of second I have passed in this bulding, I will never forget. The day, I moved in chicago, I have -$ 00.00 and 0 contacts without work permit being an international student, Worked in Mrs. Fields 84 hourse a week on cash $6.00 per hr in 2008, 21 July. This was my painful start from this bulding. But ...after that..., I have got two masters MBA and MS In computer Eng here in USA ..Luv u citi bank bulding..........4ever n ever.

Ajaykumar Gadhvi - Friday, July 15th, 2011 @ 5:45pm  

  On my way to work today, there were droves of people handing out 5/12 by 8 1/2 cards announcing that the building is LEED certified. It had a gold chocolate medallion with "Arrive" stamped on it glued by "Green is the new gold." If Citigroup Center were so "green," why all the wastage of paper, ink and silly cheap chocolate in gold foil wrapping?? Large displays (like those leased out to companies for ads that hit commuters over the head) would have done the job or even a website posting.

Maria - Wednesday, May 19th, 2010 @ 8:51am  

  I love this building! I walk past it everyday and go to its foodcourt occassionally. For its massive size it doesn't make a giant visual footprint - but is still visually beautiful, which is something only good design can accomplish!

Joshua - Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 @ 7:38pm  

  I'm sorry. This building is lying. There is NO way this HUUUGE hunk of beautiful glass covered monolith - is only 588ft tall! C'mon now, I KNOW the tape measure says one thing, but spooky truth says another. It's waaay taller than that.. surely?? It's all just one big magic trick.. I am certain of it!(PS. It IS gorgeous though!)

Russ - Wednesday, January 14th, 2009 @ 7:01pm  

  so sleek and sexy it belongs among chicago best and the view from the top is aww inspiring

such a perfect building in every way fom design to fuctionality - Tuesday, October 14th, 2008 @ 2:06pm  

  the first time i saw this building (1992)I was impressed with its design it looks like a waterfall cascating down a cliff it is a beautiful building

Wilbert NYC - Tuesday, June 20th, 2006 @ 5:05am  

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