Thompson Center Architectural Group Urges Historical Building Preservation Amid Impending Sale

WBBM Newsradio Staff
October 02, 2019 - 11:05 am

(Photo by Brian Nguyen/Chicago Tribune/TNS)


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A group of three people gathered historic materials advocating for Chicago's architectural heritage and the physical preservation of the Thompson Center.

The James R. Thompson Center Historical Society was formed after Governor Pritzker signed a law authorizing the sale of the building built in 1985. The three players pivotal in the launch are an educator, real estate reporter and an architectural historian. 

In 2015, then-Governor Bruce Rauner proposed to sell the 17-story building downtown which at the time, according to CBS2, was considered outdated and in need of much-needed maintenance. 

The historic building has a place for many Chicagoans, both physically and figuratively. The Helmut Jahn-designed center of state government makes a bold message with its colorful shape and details, notes the Chicago Archicture Center.

"When you first encounter the Thompson Center, you might wonder if a UFO has landed in the middle of the Loop," the orginzation said on its website about the building.

The newly formed society recognizes that the sale and demolition of the JRTC is a possible outcome but looks to hold events and educate the community of its significance and are looking for photographs, videos, texts, and official documents related to the building’s construction and occupation past and present as well as personal recollections of those who have worked in or visited the building.