Cable Building (Chicago)
Architect: Holabird & Roche
Location: 57 E. Jackson Blvd. at S. Wabash Ave.
“The former Cable Building (later the Hoops), at the southeast corner of Wabash Avenue and Jackson Boulevard, was completed in 1899. Here the Chicago window was replaced by a group of four narrow openings of sliding sash separated by thin mullions. A suggestion of the Marquette was apparent in the way the heavy corner piers and the cornice enframed the otherwise light and graceful elevations. An unusual feature of the Cable were the continuous openings at the first and second stories.
“The Cable Building was demolished in 1960 and 1961 to make way for the twenty-two story addition to the Continental Company Building, which fronts on Michigan Avenue. Since it was the first of four victims to the wave of destruction that hit Chicago architecture at the end of that year, the city and various professional societies acted quickly to save what they could of its appearance and structural character. In November, 1960, the city’s Commission on Chicago Landmarks and the Chicago chapters of the American Institute of Architects and the Society of Architectural Historians cooperated to preserve portions of the Cable’s rich spandrel ornament and the beaded work on the piers and sills at the second story.
“The various societies involved in their enterprise believed that it was the first time an American city acted to preserve a physical fragment of its architectural heritage. At the same time, Richard Nickel made his customary painstaking photographic record of the interior and exterior of the building, and the Landmarks Commission and the architects of the new Continental Building, C.F. Murphy Associates, assembled for preservation the original plans and the data on the genesis, construction, and subsequent history of the building. It is questionable whether the architecture of the Chicago School can survive an expanding economy, but it seems at least likely to become the best recorded phase of our building history.” (The Chicago School of Architecture, Carl Condit, pages 125-126, first published in 1964)
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