IIT Main Building Restoration and Renovation to Begin

After many years of uncertainty, this spring the Illinois Institute of Technology Main Building will begin a historically-sensitive adaptive reuse. Built in 1893 for the Armour Institute of Technology and designed by Patten and Fisher, this Romanesque Revival building received landmark status in 2004.

By 2014, the building was mostly vacated due to the required significant investment to repair interior and exterior elements. In 2015, it was added to Preservation Chicago’s 7 Most Endangered List. IIT issued an RFP for redevelopment proposals which included a high priority on historic preservation. Our Chicago 7 nomination helped to generate wider awareness within the development community regarding the RFP. IIT selected the development team of MCM Company and Washington Park Development Group, and Pappageorge Haymes Partners was selected as lead architect on the project.

The preservation sensitive adaptive reuse plan “will restore this historic Chicago Landmark and convert it to residential apartments.” The renovation “will renovate important architectural features such as the building façade, its roof, and stained glass windows.” New amenities will include 102 loft-style apartments, a fitness center, a community room, bicycle storage, and a new rooftop deck.

Preservation Chicago wishes to recognize and applaud the efforts of Illinois Institute of Technology and Bruce Watts as the highly conscientious stewards of their many historic buildings, including early buildings such as the late nineteenth century Main Building, as well as mid-century Mies van der Rohe landmarks such as 1956 Crown Hall.

Suggested Reading

Redevelopment of IIT’s Historic Main Building Moving Forward, AJ LaTrace, Curbed Chicago, 1/30/17

IIT’s Historic Main Building to be Restored as Housing, Jay Koziarz, Curbed Chicago, 2/16/16

IIT Landmark Main Building – Built in 1893 – Will Be Converted to Housing, DNAinfo, Sam Cholke, 2/15/16

Illinois Tech Partnering with MCM Company, Inc. to Restore Historic Main Building, 2/16/16


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