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A pre-renovation glimpse inside Chicago’s abandoned Consumers & Century buildings

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The vintage high-rises at 220 S. State Street and 202 S. State Street will see new life as 429 apartments

YouTube/Chicago Department of Planning and Development

A pair of empty Loop office buildings that have long been in the hands of the federal government’s General Services Administration (GSA) are poised for a major renovation. Located at 220 S. State Street, the 22-story Consumers Building was designed by Jenny, Mundie & Jensen and opened in 1913. It was joined two years later by the 16-story Century Building at 202 S. State Street from architecture firm Holabird & Roche.

While the older structures had previously appeared on Preservation Chicago’s 2013 list of most endangered buildings, a recently announced redevelopment plan will see the buildings adaptively reused. Earlier this month, CA Ventures answered a city-issued request for proposals (RFP) to acquire both vintage high-rises along with adjacent low-rise properties at 212 and 214 S. State for $10.4 million.

The developer plans a $141 million renovation that will bridge the old towers with a glassy addition designed by Chicago architecture firm Antunovich Associates. When complete, the revamped complex is expected to deliver 429 new rental apartment units and new retail space fronting State.

A rendering of the renovated towers.
Antunovich Associates

While work on the towers has yet to begin, a newly-posted video showing the interiors of the Century and Consumers buildings provide a rare glimpse at some of the structures’ early 20th Century architectural details as well as the deterioration from years of vacancy and neglect.

The video is also the first—and so far only—YouTube entry from the Chicago Department of Planning and Development. With luck, we can hope to look forward to future content featuring other off-limits Windy City sites as the department expands its social media reach.