Chicago Architecture Info

The Franklin

Photographs

Facts

Formerly
  • Franklin Center North Tower
  • AT&T Corporate Center
Addresses
Neighborhood The Loop
Built 1985 - 1989
Developer Stein Company
Architect Adrian Smith
Architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Type
  • Office
  • Skyscraper
Height 1,007 feet
Floors 61
Cost $360,000,000
Floor space
  • Total: 1,700,000 square feet
  • Rentable: 1,600,000 square feet

Notes

  • This building was formerly the Franklin Center North Tower, and the building at 222 West Adams Street was Franklin Center South Tower. Combined, they are now just The Franklin.
  • There are setbacks at the 30th, 45th, and 59th floors.

Timeline

April 3, 1989 Employees began moving into this building.

Narrative

Epitomizing both the Chicago architectural spirit, and 1990's architectural style, this building reaches into the sky in a flurry of spires, gables, and points. Its massing makes it resemble an updated version of the city's beloved Chicago Board of Trade, a few blocks away. But the color, materials, and intent expressed in this skyscraper leave Art Deco in the dust, and fully embrace late 20th century building trends.

Of particular note are the vertical channels at the center of each face. These expand as they get higher, making the extended corners of the building narrower and seemingly taller. It's an interesting exercise in forced perspective, where the corners taper on their own and appear taller, while the center of the building appears broader.

Though the exterior bears only a faint resemblance to the Art Deco monuments that made The Loop great, the interior tries harder. The lobby and public areas feature lighting fixtures and accents that harken back to the city's architectural golden age.

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