A few years ago, you may have walked past the Randolph Tower in the West Loop curious about a seemingly historic Chicago building which at one point had to be protected with metal and nets. Sidewalks in the area were also closed off as the building began to fall apart in 2001 and beautiful terracotta tiles broke free from the tower resembling others built during its time including: the Tribune Tower and London Guarantee Building.
Originally the Steuben Club, founded in 1919, the building was used at the time for members of the community supporting post war American-German immigrants and German businesses. Just months after the facilities opened including a ballroom, pool and gym the Great Depression hit and the glory of the building would change forever. The tiles that have fallen in recent years were so architecturally important they have been collected by The Smithsonian in Washington.
Seeing the potential to bring this 45 story tower back to life was Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture. A partner at the company, Paul Alessandro, speaks about this major renovation and says “A lot of the material that went into the build out was chosen for its recycled content. Carpet tiles were manufactured using recycled fibers and second hand materials went into everything from composite building” (Sustainable Chicago) Other factors which are making the building more green and sustainable are a car share program, boilers and a cooling system that are highly resourceful, bike storage and changing rooms for building tenants, LED lighting and a recycling program. Alessandro says “We exceed the minimum energy requirements by about 20% in this building” (Sustainable Chicago).
As a current urban residence and luxury apartment building with company Village Green the tower renovation is absolutely stunning. Who wouldn’t want to live in a building with such an incredible architectural history that has been rejuvenated into an eco-friendly modern palace? We will be on the lookout for other major sky scrapers and hotel buildings that are attempting to facilitate the city’s energy footprint as much as possible. These modern revamps and new technologies are so powerful when you mix the old and the new to create a beautiful, and inspirational final product.
Visit the website here.
Baker, Matt. “Gothic Revival: Does the Randolph Tower Portend a Residential Renaissance in the Loop?” Sustainable Chicago (26 Sept. 2013): 4-8. Sustainable Chicago. Web. 30 Sept. 2013.