Thursday, February 19, 2015

Citadel/Bank One Corporate Center
 by: chicago designslinger

 [Citadel Center/Bank One Corporate Center (2003) Ricardo Bofill/Arquitectura, design consultants; DeStefano & Partners, architects of record /Images & Artwork: chicago designslinger]

The glimmering glass sheathed building at the corners of State, Adams and Dearborn Streets in Chicago's Loop, sits on the half block site once occupied by a Chicago retail emporium known as The Fair Store. In a nod to the old structure, the box at the front of the tower approximates the size of the State Street portion of the original 10-story Fair Building.

  [Citadel/Bank One Corporate Center, 131 S. Dearborn Street, Chicago /Images & Artwork: chicago designslinger]

Unlike some of its more upscale neighbors, Marshall Field's or the Boston Store, The Fair catered to Chicago's working class. The company was eventually purchased by the catalog giant Montgomery Ward & Co., and the building became the home of Ward's flagship U.S. store. But by the 1980s, Ward's corporate parent Mobil Oil Corporation, decided that there was much more value in the land than in the store, so in 1986 famed Chicago architect William LeBaron Jenney's 1891 building was demolished.

  [Citadel/Bank One Corporate Center, Chicago Loop, Chicago /Images & Artwork: chicago designslinger]

The mid-80s were very much like today's real estate market - not good - so Mobil's plans for a big new high-rise never materialized, and the corner sat empty. Then starting in  2001, Ricardo Bofill's glass sheathed tower began to rise-up on the Dearborn Street side of the property and the shorter box rose on State Street. To save time and money Bofill and the architectural firm of record, DeStefano & Partners, used the building foundation of The Fair, which was buried and  left behind when the store was torn down above street level. So there's more of Jenney's original building still surviving than meets the eye. The main lobby entry of the new structure is actually on Dearborn Street, wrapped in sheets of clear glass reflecting the stunning design of Holabird & Roche's Marquette Building across the street, and giving the passerby a good view of a reproduction of the Winged Victory of Samothrace. Unlike the original 2200-year-old marble sculpture in the Louvre, this version is covered in gold.

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