Award for Adaptive Use

The Buckingham Building


Completed in 1930 and named for the neighboring fountain, the Buckingham is a 27-story Art Deco building designed by Holabird & Root, located near Michigan Avenue and facing Grant Park. Vacated in 2002, however, the building was largely ignored by its owner. During the winter of 2004, the heat but not water had been shut off, causing a water main break and major flooding in the basement; the building suffered further from vandalism and theft of several elements.
The current owners purchased the building in 2004 and undertook a full renovation in 2006, not only to bring the building up to code, but to outfit its interior with spaces appropriate to serve students. Preserving the main lobby, historic hallways on all floors, and several other interior spaces, the exterior of the building was restored and indoor spaces adapted for apartments, lounges and retail uses. The Buckingham is now entirely leased and occupied by Columbia College.

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