Chicago Daily News Building (Riverside Plaza) - Chicago, Il
Posted by: Hikenutty
N 41° 52.952 W 087° 38.330
16T E 446996 N 4636931
Quick Description: Riverside Plaza was originally built for the Chicago Daily News by Holabird and Root. It is one of Chicago's great Art Deco buildings.
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 7/30/2007 11:24:52 AM
Waymark Code: WM1XZ2
The following excerpt is from "The WPA Guide to Illinois":
The CHICAGO DAILY NEWS BUILDING, 400 W. Madison St., houses the plant and offices of the Chicago Daily News. A $10,000,000 Indiana limestone structure, designed by Holabird and Root and completed in 1929, it was one of the first Chicago buildings constructed in a large measure over a railroad right-of-way and the first to develop the river front aesthetically as well as commercially. The vast plane of its block-long facade rises from a balustraded plaza. Exterior stone panels depict the evolution of printing; murals by John W. Norton, on the ceiling of the main floor concourse, illustrate the gathering, printing and distributing of news.
The Chicago Daily News, noted for the many authors developed on its staff, was published by the late Victor Lawson from 1876 to 1925. Control has been in the hands of Col. Frank Knox since 1931.
The designers, the firm of Holabird and Root, were the most popular architecture firm in Chicago during the art deco era and are responsible for countless deco buildings in Chicago and other large cities.
This building, now called Riverside Plaza for its location adjacent to the Chicago River, has three sections in its design: the plaza level which faces the river (floors 1-7), the tower (floors 8-23), and the crown of the tower (floors 24-26). This was the first of the buildings on the river to treat the river as an amenity rather than a problem. Typically the riverside buildings were industrial in nature and the backs of the structures butted up against the riverside. The city was calling for the beautification of the riverfront corridor and this building literally opens its arms to the river with the plaza on the riverside and the building's "arms" flanking the plaza. Now if you take a ride down the river nearly all of the buildings you see are designed with the river in mind and either have plazas or promenades incorporated in their design.
Art deco ornamentation can be seen throughout the structure using the materials of limestone, polished granite, marble, and white metal. Originally the mural mentioned by artist John W. Norton was on the ceiling of the main floor. It was removed in 1993 for restoration, but as of yet the funds have not been raised for the work.
If you look across the river from the Plaza you'll see the Civic Opera Building, another important deco building in the history of Chicago's architecture.