The corporate home to Old Republic International is housed in a 1925 historic high-rise on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Three years ago NWD was engaged to modernize the principal infrastructure, accessibility, life safety systems, and architecture of the common areas. The five year project includes replacing and/or adding infrastructure such as cooling towers, chillers, boilers, elevators, fire alarms and sprinklers, and central power systems.
Full architectural renovations will occur with the building’s main entry, building lobby, street level tenant entries, and all floor lobbies and hallways. In addition, work is being performed toward restoring the exterior terra cotta and rebuilding exterior features such as the building’s ornate cornice. In all cases, appropriate detail is being given to preserving the essential portions of the building’s historic character while interjecting relevant modern amenities. The effort has required a dedicated hands-on approach given that all construction has been carried out while the building is fully occupied and functioning. NWD has served as the owner’s architect and consultant during the Chicago Landmarking process, Class L process, and federal historic tax credit applications.
The building sets as a renewed icon among Michigan Avenue’s prominent historic structures. Among the many historic renovation aspects of the project, a few of the more notable efforts have included casting new bronze architectural features, restoring marble lobbies and corridors, and replicating ornamental terra cotta.
With the various building systems, the highest levels of energy efficiency are being pursued yielding substantial savings to the ownership over the old in-place technology.