Thompson Center On The Block?

Governor Rauner is making noises about selling off the 30 year old James R Thompson Center at 100 W Randolph. His points are valid – the building is in need of a lot of repair, is inefficient, and a new development would bring jobs and income to the state and city.

The main complaints center on the atrium. Reaching the full 17 stories of the building, the glass enclosure is uninsulated (as a cost saving measure), causing the heating and cooling costs of the building to rise, as all that empty air needs to be temperature controlled. The open offices, in combination with the atrium and concourse-level food court also experience elevated noise levels, odors, and the extremes of temperature.

The building is a novel design, and one that looks good on paper, and has a markedly futuristic appeal. In reality, though, it doesn’t work for the people in the space, and that is the purpose it needs, above all, to fill.

If the sale goes through, what sort of replacement makes sense to you? I like the idea of a super-tall tower, something that has architectural merit, and can be used for residential purposes, offices, and anything else.