Known as The Jewelers Building, 35 East Wacker Drive was originally designed and built in the 1920’s as a high-tech office tower for jewelers. The lower 23 floors were serviced by automobile elevators that, for security reasons, transported the tenant, their jewels, and car directly up to the office floor. This machinery proved less useful over time, and the elevator shafts were subsequently filled in.
At the time of its construction, The Jewelers Building was the tallest building west of New York City. Its silhouette is distinctive on the Chicago skyline. It has a “wedding cake” shape with water towers visible at the four corners of the first set back (part of the original fire suppression system—now decommissioned). The top of the Building is a large dome which originally housed a restaurant said to have been an Al Capone hangout during Prohibition. The Building is a designated Chicago landmark.
Recently, The Dorchester Corporation initiated a multi-year, multi-million dollar renovation program to bring the property up to contemporary Class A standards. The interior of the building is being entirely re-built on a floor-by-floor basis as tenants vacate, with only the building structure and the restored historic facade remaining in place.
The Building core has been reconfigured around a new centrally located services shaft—creating modern floor plates ideally suited to mid-sized office users. New “best-in-class” electrical, mechanical, elevator, plumbing and life safety systems have been installed. The storefronts, lobby, and elevator cabs have been meticulously restored. The Building now offers modern functionality in a prestige heritage space.
The property re-development has received awards including a top award from the Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects (the “Interior Architecture Award Citation of Merit” for Excellence in Architecture 2006) and the “2006 Chicago Landmark Award for Preservation Excellence—Exterior and Interior Rehabilitation” from the City of Chicago.
For additional information visit www.35eastwackerdrive.com.