30 North LaSalle in Chicago

Photo of 30 North LaSalle in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz
Photo of 30 North LaSalle in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz

Airlifted pipes.

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30 North LaSalle

30 North LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois, The Loop 60602
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A building that is, sadly, out of touch with its neighborhood. This black glass curtain wall cube is wedged inharmoniously into an area populated with spectacular Art Deco, and early 20th Century architecture. There was already fierce competition for space and light in the LaSalle Street corridor before this modernist invasion. But at least there are lessons to be learned here. In the early part of the 20th Century, Chicago had an ordinance which required setbacks and governed the designs of skyscrapers in order to preserve light and air. The buildings of the time pushed those rules to the limit, and were shaped by them. 30 North LaSalle was built much later and suffers from no such handicaps, and is an illustration of why such rules were needed. The broad shoulders of the classic buildings in this section of the Loop district muscle each other for attention, and as they do, block out much of the light that arrives at street level. This black monolith does them all one better. It turns a shady area of the city into a dark corner, sucking light out of the air before it can reach people below. The result is an ominous pall cast on the area by an otherwise forgettable building.

Quick Facts
  • Construction start: 1974
  • Construction finish: 1975
  • Designed by: Thomas E. Stanley
  • Renovated: 1990 by Peter Czernin, Heinz Neumann, and Manfred Wehdorn
  • Renovated: 1986 at a cost of $3 million by Vickery, Ovresat, Awsumb & Associates
  • Type: Skyscraper
  • Stories: 44
  • Maximum Height: 553 feet / 169 meters
  • Floor space: 925,000 square feet
  • 2007: This building was sold by Blackstone Group to Tishman Speyer as part of a $1.8 billion deal for seven downtown Chicago office buildings.
  • The lobby is clad in European marble.
  • Developer: Tishman Realty & Construction
Did You Know?
    > This was the location of the old Chicago Stock Exchange. Its demolition in 1971 sent the local architecture community into convulsions from which it still hasn't recovered. Remnants of the celebrated building can be seen in a small park behind the Art Institute of Chicago.
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