Chicago Architecture Info

333 North Michigan

Photographs

Facts

Address 333 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60601
Neighborhood The Loop
Built 1927 - 1928
Architecture firm Holabird & Root
Type
  • Office
  • Retail
  • Skyscraper
Floors 35
Height 396 feet

Notes

  • This was Chicagoʼs first skyscraper in the Art Deco style.
  • This building's design was inspired by Eliel Saarinenʼs failed entry into the Tribune Tower design competition.
  • The reliefs on the exterior of the fifth floor were created by Fred M. Torrey, and depict scenes from Chicago history They are titled:
    • The Portage
    • The Hunter
    • The Pioneer Woman
    • The Fort Dearborn Attack
    • The Covered Wagon Era
    • The Traders

Narrative

Although it is known by its Michigan Avenue address, 333 North Michigan Avenue looks like it desperately wants to be one of the Wacker Drive crowd. Its narrow Wacker frontage features an 11-story tower section, while the Michigan Avenue side is left with the supporting wing.

The intersection of Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River is one of the most highly prized pieces of real estate in the city. These lots were claimed more than a hundred years ago by companies with timeless names like Tribune and Wrigley. 333 doesnʼt have a pedigree, but it still dates from that age.

It was the last of the four original spectacular skyscrapers to be erected at this intersection, and is based on a losing entry for the Tribune Tower contest. Art Deco in form and materials, limestone and polished marble are used on the exterior. With its rounded corners and extreme streamlining, this could almost be an Art Moderne creation. Like all proper Art Deco buildings, 333 features a series of exterior reliefs. In this case, they were executed by Fred M. Torrey, and honor the development of Chicago at this, the intersection where the city was established.

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