The Old Chicago Post Office
Award of Merit
Owner: 601 W Cos.
Developer/Property Manager: Jones Lang LaSalle
Lead Design Firm: Gensler
General Contractor: BEAR Construction Co.
Interior Contractor (tenant spaces): Skender
MEP Engineer: McGuire Engineers
Leasing: Telos Group LLC
The 1921 Graham, Anderson, Probst and White Chicago Main Post Office sat empty for decades until 601W Cos. stepped in to buy the property and launch an ambitious redevelopment to reposition the 2.8-million-sq-ft, nine-story building. Dividing the space into offices, restaurants and event spaces allowed 601W to bridge the gap between the spectacular architecture and design of the 1920s and current market demands from tenants like Uber. The Gensler and BEAR-led team worked closely with the local, state and national agencies to preserve and celebrate the history of the building—which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2001—through restoration, programming and retention of artifacts. The original 1921 clay tile floor in Building A was preserved with replacement tiles from a supplier in Italy. Navigating the requirements necessary to maintain the building’s historic integrity while still delivering a space worthy of a modern, collaborative workplace resulted in solutions such as meeting spaces built inside the cavernous east building with “streets” on either side.