WJE Restorations of Randolph Tower and Hairpin Lofts Honored
The dramatic facade restoration of Randolph Tower, a 1920s Gothic Revival-style high-rise in downtown Chicago, Illinois, transformed a severely deteriorated and dormant skyscraper into a vibrant residential community. Serving as the facade architect, WJE performed a comprehensive facade restoration of the 45-story terra cotta clad building, which included recreating the original, ornate terra cotta storefront that was replaced in the 1950s and the original terra cotta gargoyles that were removed in the 1960s. Completing the ambitious project within a 24-month schedule, WJE's facade restoration in conjunction with Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture's (HPA) interior rehabilitation was awarded a 2013 Chicago Landmark Award for Preservation Excellence as well as the 2013 AIA Illinois Louis Sullivan Award, the organization's top design honor.
WJE also served as the exterior facade consultant for the rehabilitation of Hairpin Lofts and the Arts Center in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood. In an effort to revitalize the six-story Art Deco-style building, the exterior limestone panels were removed and reset, and the original cast stone parapet was reconstructed using historic photographs. HPA again undertook the interior restoration, reappropriating the abandoned space into affordable living and working residences for local artists. The project achieved LEED Gold certification. The successful restoration was recognized with a 2013 Chicago Landmark Award for Preservation Excellence as well as the 2013 AIA Illinois Crombie Taylor Honor Award.
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