Baxter International Headquarters: 2023 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois

“The campus for Baxter International is a thoughtful set of buildings arranged in a carefully considered landscape, creating a unique environment for workers and visitors. Among them, the remarkable central facilities building stands out for its new structural system that allowed a vast uninterrupted and flexible interior space. It is a building at the forefront of architecture and engineering that represents the vision and qualities of the corporate campus architecture of this period. Repurposing this key building as part of future plans for this campus would provide the new owners with a unique and irreplaceable piece of architecture easily adaptable for new uses.”

Iker Gil, founder of MAS Context” – Iker Gil, founder of MAS Context


1 Baxter Parkway, Deerfield, Lake County




Skidmore, Owings & Merrill


Bridge Industrial

(Photo credit: Dave Burk)


The Baxter International Headquarters Campus is an important work of Midcentury Modern design by the renowned architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM). The original campus of four low-rise office pavilions and two parking garages is organized around a central facilities building supported by stayed-cable suspension attached to two masts that rise 30 feet above the roofline. The buildings are connected by both underground pedways and second-level pedestrian bridges.

The campus was awarded the American Institute of Steel Construction Architectural Award of Excellence in 1975 and the AIA Chicago Chapter Distinguished Building Award in 1976, the same year that SOM also won the same award for the design of the Sears Tower. An expansion was constructed in 1985.

(Photo credit: Dave Burk)


In January 2023, Baxter International announced that it would sell its headquarters campus to Bridge Industrial, which plans to demolish the existing campus and replace it with logistics warehouse facilities. An application is currently under consideration by the Village of Deerfield to annex and rezone the property to allow this change of use. Unfortunately, the campus has no landmark protection of any kind to prevent or discourage demolition.  Baxter International joins other suburban office campuses of the mid-20th century that are threatened by a decline in demand for office space.

(Photo credit: Dave Burk)


Rather than demolish the existing campus, this is an excellent opportunity to reuse a unique and high-quality architectural resource. As Elizabeth Blasius, an architectural historian and cofounder of Preservation Futures, wrote in a March column on MAS Context, Deerfield could look to the example of Bell Works Chicagoland, which is transforming the Ameritech Center in Hoffman Estates into a self-contained urban hub termed a “Metroburb.” Part of Bridge Industrial’s proposal includes constructing a new recreational facility for the Deerfield Park District, which instead could be incorporated into reuse plans.

(Photo credit: Dave Burk)


Contact the Village of Deerfield Plan Commission to oppose the rezone of the property from office to industrial use.

(Photo credit: Dave Burk)

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