Office and Studio of Perkins, Fellows & Hamilton, architects in Chicago

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Airlifted pipes.

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Office and Studio of Perkins, Fellows & Hamilton, architects

814 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, Gold Coast 60611
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Easily overlooked in the cacophony that is the Water Tower area, this building is deserving of more attention because of its place in history. A casual look can make you think it's part of the red brick skyscraper next door, or an annex to the sandy yellow Park Tower on the other side. But in fact, this building is a buffer between the two that has managed to survive while the city grew up around it.

The building was erected in the waning years of the Arts and Crafts Movement, and its design is a mix of traditional Chicago School architecture and the motifs of the time. The building is expressed as a triplet of bays, with the center one being wider and also pushed out toward the lot line. This pays homage to the traditional Chicago-style windows still popular across the city for catching passing breezes in the pre-air conditioning era.

But the Arts and Crafts influence is also very visible, especially in the top floor where a sloping glass roof allows light inside. And in the ornamental brickwork so often missed by pedestrians rushing by.

Quick Facts
  • 1917: Construction is completed
  • December 1, 1993: This building is named a Chicago landmark
  • 2000: This building is renovated for high-end retail.
Did You Know?
  • This building is located at the northern edge of what was once called "Towertown" -- a collection of artsy shops, galleries, and restaurants that once surrounded the Old Chicago Water Tower.
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