The Century and Consumers Buildings Need You Now!

September 20, 2023

Century and Consumers Buildings, Chicago, Illinois. 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

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.

The General Services Administration (GSA) has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the buildings, which includes two options: demolition or viable adaptive reuse.

A public hearing is scheduled for Monday, October 2 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM CDT at the Metcalfe Federal Building’s Morrison Conference Center (located at 77 West Jackson Boulevard in Chicago). If you would like to attend the public hearing, please register at the Eventbrite link.

The open comment period for the Draft EIS runs until Tuesday, October 31. Let your voice be heard; tell the GSA that the adaptive reuse is the best option for these historic skyscrapers.

Announcing the 2024 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

See the List