Tell the GSA: Don’t Demolish the Century and Consumers Buildings

May 9, 2023

Century and Consumers Buildings, Chicago, Illinois. Two examples of Chicago’s early innovation in skyscraper design are vacant and threatened with demolition: the Consumers Building (left) from 1913 and the neighboring Century Building (right), built in 1915.

photo by: Landmarks Illinois

Two examples of Chicago’s early innovation in skyscraper design are vacant and threatened with demolition: the Consumers Building (left) from 1913 and the neighboring Century Building (right), built in 1915.

Each year, the list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places shines a light on the threats facing significant sites of American history. It continues to be a powerful, galvanizing tool for historic preservation, with over 350 sites listed and only a handful lost.

On this year’s list are the Century and Consumers Buildings in Chicago, Illinois. As two iconic early skyscrapers along Chicago’s historic State Street, the Century and Consumers Buildings contribute to the architectural significance of the area known as “the Loop.”

Yet they have sat vacant since the General Services Administration (GSA) bought them in 2005 and are now being considered for demolition. Advocates are urging reuse options that could meet security needs of the adjacent federal courthouse while avoiding the buildings’ wasteful demolition.

To save these iconic pieces of architecture, contact the GSA to ask them not to demolish these significant buildings.

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