Last year, Google declared its intention to purchase the Thompson Center. The city gave permission to tear down the existing building in October.
The building’s original architects are currently collaborating with the corporation to renovate the structure while preserving its iconic design.
Yeah, that’s nice. Very modern,” Chicagoan Barbara Outlaw remarked after seeing the pictures.
Architect Helmut Jahn was a well-known designer when the building was first created.
According to Preservation Chicago Executive Director Ward Miller, “this was a transformative building for downtown Chicago, and it was considered by Jahn to be the second state capitol, in the state’s most populous city.”
The State of Illinois Offices were housed in the Thompson Center, which had its official opening in 1985. Preservation Chicago listed the Thompson Center as one of the most endangered structures in the city as recently as 2020.
“If we were to lose this building, it would be like losing a great Chicago treasure, and a world treasure,” Miller stated.
Google acknowledged the Thompson Center’s significance. The site is the only place in the city where the North, West, and South Sides of Chicago are connected by six L train lines.
Chicago Loop Alliance President & CEO Michael Edwards stated, “I think other companies are going to see that too, because we’re so transit rich here in the Loop.” “Being able to come down in a safe way on public transit and come right to your office, that’s pretty special.”
According to CBRE, little under 24% of offices in the central business district were vacant as of the third quarter of 2023. Local business leaders are hoping that Google will have the same effect on the Loop as it did on Fulton Market, where the addition of 1,800 personnel acted as a stimulus for fresh growth, given that office vacancy is still a problem following the pandemic.
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jack Lavin stated, “It’s going to bring a lot of jobs, it’s going to revitalize downtown and bring new energy downtown more foot traffic, and that will help the economic recovery of the central business district.”
Although construction fencing is anticipated to begin in early 2019, Google’s operating ambitions at the site are not slated to begin until many years later, with the tech giant aiming for 2026.