Century Tower

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

The Century Tower is an Art-deco skyscraper designed by Thielbar & Fugard and built between 1929 and 1930 in Chicago, IL.

Century Tower 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 Century Tower is also known, or has been known as, Trustees System Service Building, Corn Products Building, Skyline Century of Progress, The Lake and Wells Building, or The 201 Towers.

Its precise street address is 182 West Lake Street, Chicago, IL. You can also find it on the map here.

The Century Tower 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 Art Deco style. Because of that, the Century Tower was officially declared as a national landmark on January 9th 2003.

The building underwent a major restoration in 2005.

Building's timeline

Construction begins
Construction completed
Declared NL
years ago

Architect and team

Thielbar & Fugard was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design.

Architectural Style

The Century Tower can be categorized as an Art-deco building.

The Art Deco movement flourished during the 1920s and 1930s, with many historians marking the outbreak of World War II as its final decline. Even though a couple of decades might not seem as much, the Art Deco movement had a great impact on architecture, and it's widely represented in many American cities due to the development boom that happened during that time.

Art Deco marked the abandonment of traditional historicism and the embracement of modern living and the age of the machine. In architecture, that meant leaving behind the ornaments of Beux-Arts and Neo-Gothic buildings and instead favoring simplicity and visual impact through geometric shapes, clean lines, and symmetrical designs. Ornaments were still an important part of the design, but they became bold and lavish, and were often inspired by ancient cultures or industrial imagery, instead of nature.

The Century Tower was completed in 1930, right when the Art Deco movement was at its peak, so it kind of went with the trend at that time.

Spaces & Uses

The Century Tower reaches an architectural height of 395ft (120.4m). It has a total of 28 floors.

When it opened its doors to the public in 1930, the Century Tower was primarily used as Commercial space. That however, is no longer the case, and today it mainly provides Residential space.

About the residences

The Century Tower has a total of 292 residential units throughout its 28 floors.

395ft (120.4m)

Materials & Structure

The Century Tower uses a frame structure made of reinforced-concrete columns and beams.

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.


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