2023 Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award for Adaptive Reuse
The grand reawakening The Old Post Office in Chicago, built in 1921, is a testament to the indomitable spirit of architectural preservation and adaptive reuse. What became the largest adaptive reuse project in the nation was led by the partnership of 601W Companies, JLL, Telos, BEAR Construction and Gensler. They transformed the long-threatened and highly visible local and national landmarked building (included on Landmarks Illinois’ 1997 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois) into a luxurious office complex that seamlessly blends its Art Deco roots with modern sensibilities. The massive project demanded meticulous attention to detail, seamlessly integrating contemporary amenities while honoring the building’s rich heritage.
When The Old Post Office reopened in 2019, 80% of its available space was leased, a testament to the power of visionary planning. The building features modern amenities including a sprawling, 3.5-acre rooftop park, a massive tenant fitness center, private bar space and a tenant lounge. These amenities have not only redefined the office experience but also shown what is possible when redeveloping historic spaces. Federal historic tax credits were a critical and significant source of funding for the project, along with the Class L property tax incentive. It was reviewed by the Illinois State Preservation Office because of a historic preservation covenant for deaccessioned federally owned government buildings.
(Photo credit: Liz Chilsen)