Chicago Architecture Info

820 South Michigan

820 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Map data © OpenStreetMap

Facts

Formerly The Johnson Publishing Building
Also known as The Ebony Jet Building
Address 820 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60605
Neighborhood South Loop
Built 1972
Developer John H. Johnson
Architecture firm Dubin Dubin Black and Moutoussamy
Architect John W. Moutoussamy
Type
  • Residential
  • Retail
Floors 12
Cost $8,000,000
Size 110,000 square feet
Width 40 feet

Notes

  • This building was originally clad in walnut Travertine marble. In 2005 it was replaced with granite because the marble couldn't withstand harsh Chicago winters.
  • When this building opened in 1972 it was completely wired with a Picturephone system.
  • The lobby is 18.5 feet high.
  • The building's elevators were designed with removable panels so their look could change seasonally and inspire the employees.
  • The 10th and 11th floor windows are recessed to create balconies.

Timeline

December, 1971 Employees started moving into this building.
May 16, 1972 Over 1,000 politicians and other dignitaries gathered to dedicate this building.
June 1, 1972 This building opened.
2010 This building was purchased by Columbia College of Chicago for use as a library. That never happened.
2012 Johnson Publishing moved out of this building.
September 2017 3LRE released its plan to add a floor to this building and turn it into 150 residences.
November 21, 2017 This building was named a Chicago landmark.
April 2018 The historic Johnson Publishing test kitchen, designed by William Raiser and Arthur Elrod, was sold to Landmarks Chicago for $1, disassembled, and removed by volunteers for preservation.

Quotation

"This new building reflects our faith in the strength and vitality of that long line of black men and women who have contributed to much to this country and this community... it is a poem in glass and marble which symbolizes our unshakeable faith that the struggles of our forefathers were not in vain and that we shall indeed overcome." — John Johnson