After over twenty years of preservation advocacy since it was shuttered in 1996, the Old Main Post Office was awarded Preliminary Landmark Status at the October Commission of Chicago Landmarks meeting. Preservation Chicago testified strongly in support of awarding Preliminary Designation of Chicago Landmark status and its spectacular two-story lobby.
For over 25 years, the reuse of this Graham, Anderson, Probst and White designed, 2.8 million-square-foot Art Moderne gem completed in 1932, has been a top priority for Preservation Chicago, Landmarks Illinois, and the Chicago preservation community. Multiple schemes had been presented over the years, many which called for partial demolition of portions of this massive building. Preservation Chicago spoke out strongly against every previous development proposal that included partial demolition. We are thrilled that the ongoing restoration work will restore the entire historic structure.
The developer, 601W Companies, hired the Gensler architecture design firm to lead the massive $600 million renovation effort. Located along the south branch of the Chicago River, and straddling the Eisenhower expressway, the massive building will deliver 2.5 million square feet of Class A office space and is estimated to be able to house approximately 12,000 employees once completed. The anticipated contiguous 250,000 square foot office floor plates contributed to the site being frequently mentioned as one of Chicago’s top contenders for Amazon’s second headquarters. According to the Chicago Tribune, renovation of the Post Office represents the single largest redevelopment project in the nation.