Singer Building

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

The Singer Building is a Neogothic skyscraper designed by Mundie & Jensen and built between 1925 and 1926 in Chicago, IL.

Its precise street address is 120 S. State Street, Chicago, IL. You can also find it on the map here.

The Singer 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 Neogothic style. Because of that, the Singer Building was officially included in the National Register of Historic Places on February 10th 1983.

The building underwent a major restoration in 1997. The architect commissioned to undertake this restoration was Hasbrouck Hendersen Architects.

Building's timeline

Construction begins
Construction completed
Added to the NRHP
years ago
  1. 1997 - Restoration. The architect in charge was Hasbrouck Hendersen Architects.

Architect and team

Mundie & Jensen was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design.

Mundie & Jensen was 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 at the very least we know that there was one other part involved, that was Singer Manufacturing Company as the Main Developer.

Architectural Style

The Singer Building can be categorized as a Neogothic building.

The Neo-Gothic style, also known as Gothic Revival, emerged in the United States during the late 19th century, taking inspiration from the Gothic architecture found in Europe from centuries prior.

The Gothic Revival movement took elements characteristic of the Gothic buildings, such as pointed architect, ribbed vaults and flying buttresses, and applied them to newer buildings, even those belonging to typologies that did not exist during the original Gothic period, such as skyscrapers.

Neg-Gothic buildings usually feature pinnacles, gargoyles and other decorative elements that emphasize the verticality of the structure, and include stonework that features the craftsmanship of skilled artisans of the time.

The Singer Building was completed in 1926. These were the late days of the Neogothic movement, which had been around for almost 200 years at the time.

Art-deco would soon take over US architecture, and therefore, even though Mundie & Jensen didn't venture into what was cutting edge in terms of style at the time, and took instead a more conservative approach to the design of the Singer Building, it is possible that the design already started showing some traits that would later become characteristic of the art-deco movement.

Spaces & Uses

It has a total of 10 floors, served by 2 elevators.

When it opened its doors to the public in 1926, the Singer Building was primarily used as Commercial space. That however, is no longer the case, and today it mainly provides Residential space.

About the residences

The Singer Building has a total of 9 residential units throughout its 10 floors.

Materials & Structure

The Singer Building uses a frame structure made of 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.

From an aesthetic point of view, the facade features glazed terracotta found in neogothic ornamentation molded into glistening forms.