James R. Thompson Center, Chicago

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#455 of 498 in Things to do in Chicago
The James R. Thompson Center (JRTC) is located at 100 W. Randolph Street in the Loop district of Chicago and houses offices of the Illinois state government.Early historyThe building opened in May 1985 as the State of Illinois Center. It was renamed in 1993 to honor former Illinois Republican Governor James R. Thompson. The property takes up the entire block bound by Randolph, Lake, Clark and LaSalle Streets, one of the 35 full-size city blocks within Chicago's Loop. In front of the Thompson Center is a sculpture, Monument With Standing Beast, by Jean Dubuffet. The Thompson Center is sometimes referred to as the State of Illinois Building.DesignThe Thompson Center was designed by Helmut Jahn of Murphy/Jahn now called JAHN Architects. It opened to mixed reviews by critics, ranging from "outrageous" to "wonderful". The color of the street-level panels were compared to tomato soup. The 17-story, all-glass exterior curves and slopes facing a plaza on the southeast corner of the property. The design simultaneity looks forward with advanced architectural tectonics (of the time) and back to recapture the grandeur of large public spaces. Visitors to the Thompson Center's interior can see all 17 floors layered partway around the building's immense skylit atrium. The open-plan offices on each floor are supposed to carry the message of "an open government in action."
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  • Walking to the Cadillac Palace Theater the other week, we passed by this enormous building on W. Randolph Str, that occupies the whole block and definitely attracts attention by its contemporary desig...  more »
  • The building is look so nice from the outside of it. It is very cool place to visit here. Did not have any problems here  more »
  • The exterior is kind of a comical mess, but the interior is breathtaking. Beautiful terrazzo flooring, especially looking down on the lower level.  more »
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