35 East Wacker Building

35 East Wacker Building
  1. About the 35 East Wacker Building in Chicago
    1. Building Catalogations
  2. Architect and team
  3. Architectureal style
  4. Spaces and uses
  5. Structure and materials

The 35 East Wacker Building is skyscraper designed between 1924 and 1924 by Joachim Giæver & Frederick P. Dinkelberg and built between 1925 and 1927 in Chicago, IL.

35 East Wacker Building is not the only name you might know this building by though. It is common for companies to want to attach their names to iconic buildings when they move in, or for the general public to come up with nicknames, and this one is no exception. The 35 East Wacker Building is also known, or has been known as, Jewelers' Building.Pure Oil Building, or North American Life Building.

Its precise street address is 35 E. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL. You can also find it on the map here.

The 35 East Wacker Building is a structure of significant importance both for the city of Chicago and the United States as a nation. The building embodies the distinctive characteristic features of the time in which it was built and the Neoclassical style. Because of that, the 35 East Wacker Building was officially declared as a national landmark on September 27th 1994.

At the time of its completion in 1927 the 35 East Wacker Building incorporated solutions that were quite advanced at the time, these included a fully automated indoor parking facility with car lifts".

The building has been restored 2 times over the years to ensure its conservation and adaptation to the pass of time. The main restoration works happened in 1989 and 2010.

Building's timeline

Design completed
Construction begins
Construction completed
Declared NL
years ago
  1. 1988 to 1989 - Restoration. The architect in charge was Kuwavara, Payne, McKenna & Blumberg architects.
  2. 2010 - Restoration.

Architect and team

Joachim Giæver & Frederick P. Dinkelberg was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design. But there was also one other architect involved, as far as we know. We are talking about Thielbar & Fugard.

Joachim Giæver & Frederick P. Dinkelberg and the other architects already mentioned were in charge of the architectural design, however, architecture is a complex discipline, which usually involves many professionals from different fields, without whom this building would have not been possible. We will surely be leaving out a lot of names here, but here is a list of the people we do know also played their part in making the 35 East Wacker Building a reality:

  • Joachim Gotsche Giæver in charge of Structural Engineering
  • Starrett-Dilks Company as the Main Contractor
  • Riverside Plaza Corporation as the Main Developer

Architectural Style

The 35 East Wacker Building can be categorized as building.

Spaces & Uses

The 35 East Wacker Building reaches an architectural height of 522ft (159m). It has a total of 43 floors, 40 above ground and 3 basements, served by 10 elevators, which combined offer a total of 550,003 sqf (51,097m2) of usable space.

Ever since opening its doors to the public in 1927, the 35 East Wacker Building has mainly been used as Commercial space.

522ft (159m)
3 basements

Materials & Structure

The 35 East Wacker Building uses a frame structure made of steel columns and concrete slabs.

A frame structure uses a combination of beams and columns to sustain the building's weight. The walls in this case are non-load bearing, which allows for more flexibility when distributing the interior spaces.

The facade is non-load bearing either, as it is common in frame structure type buildings.

From an aesthetic point of view, the facade features a grey limesione cladding with some terracotta ornaments.

Other materials found at the 35 East Wacker Building include, bronce, used for the ornamented elevator doors of the lobby, marble, found at the foyer's floors and coffeed ceilings, and molded tiles, covering the top of the tower.


  • www.chicago.gov