The Park Millennium in Chicago

Photo of The Park Millennium in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Park Millennium in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
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Photo of The Park Millennium in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation

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The Park Millennium

222 North Columbus Drive, Chicago, Illinois, The Loop 60601
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A large building that seems wedged into the New East Side skyscraper forest sideways, The Park Millennium provides a crucial residential element to an area dominated by office buildings and hotels. It is, perhaps, this sideways stature that allows such a large building to be almost invisible to pedestrians below. Walking by, one isn't struck by the notion that there is a 500-foot cliff next to you. Instead, you're distracted by the planters, the grocery store, and the hotel across the way.

In appearance, the building expresses all the visual cues of traditional skyscraper architecture, from the massing of the podium to the shoulder setbacks to the tower portion which rises above like a head craning for a view above its neighbors. In spite of the incorporated tradition, The Park Millennium is very 1990's in design, not least for its color, its anonymous balconies, and its generic appearance. If skyscrapers were people, this one could very well have given its DNA to many other skyscrapers in Chicago and elsewhere.

Though the building's height is officially 544 feet, it is actually much taller than that. The official height is taken from the main entrance, which is at the top of a three-level stack of roadways. If one were to measure the height of The Park Millennium from where it actually meets the ground, the figure would be close to 600 feet.

Quick Facts
  • Height from Upper Columbus Drive to the top of the building: 544 feet
  • Height from Lower Columbus Drive to the top of the building: 600 feet
  • Parking spaces: 500
  • June 1, 2002: This building officially opened.
  • October, 2002: This building was completed.
  • December, 2004: This building was sold by Archstone-Smith Trust to Centrum Properties and MCZ Development for $135,000,000.
  • Developer: Charles E. Smith Residential
  • According to the Chicago Tribune, when the owners of this building converted it from apartments to condominiums, they expected it would take three years to sell all of the residences. Instead, because of high demand, it took less than a year.
  • The top six floors are set back from the rest of the building and have ceiling six inches higher than the lower floors.
  • "Some of these buildings, such as the 57-story Park Millennium apartment tower at 222 N. Columbus Drive, look as though they might enjoy a second career as missile silos."

    --Architecture critic Blair Kamin, Chicago Tribune, August 10, 2003

  • "The top got away from everybody"

    -- Architect Jim Loewenberg, Chicago Tribune, August 10, 2003.

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