Mies van der Rohe’s Lake Shore Drive Restoration / Krueck & Sexton Architects

© William Zbaren

Location: 860-880 Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois,
Original Architect:
Original Completion Date: 1951
Restoration Architect: Krueck & Sexton Architects
Restoration Completion Date: 2009
Client: 860-880 Condominium Association
Photos: William Zbaren

“Restoring Modernism”, Ron Krueck on architectural legacy

Widely recognized as one of the 20th Century’s most iconic residential projects, 860-880 Lake Shore Drive consists of two 26-story rectangular condominium buildings surrounded by an irregular travertine plaza. The steel and glass towers are connected by a covered walkway.

© William Zbaren

In addition to more than half a century of normal wear and tear, the buildings had endured several restoration attempts over the years. The problems included corrosion of the building’s exposed steel frame, failure of the lobby glazing system and extensive cracking and discoloration of the travertine plaza.

© William Zbaren

There were also aesthetic issues. The original frosted glass in the lobby had been replaced in the early 1980s by a laminate system with a translucent interlayer that created an historically inaccurate aquamarine tint.

© William Zbaren

The restoration included recoating the steel frame and cleaning the original aluminum windows. In addition, new sandblasted glass in the lobby recreated the soft, velvety look of the original.

© William Zbaren

Finally, the plaza was rebuilt, a process that included replacing the original travertine slabs, designing a new more or less invisible drainage system and recreating the original plaza lighting scheme.

Ground floor plan

Designed to take advantage of a 2008 tax credit, the project began in the summer of 2007 and was completed in December of 2009 at a cost of $9 million.

Client / Owner: 860 Lake Shore Drive Trust, Marc Boxerman, Board Member & President
Building Management: 860 Lake Shore Drive Trust, Kayla Ehrlich, Building Manager
Owner’s Representative: Cotter Consulting, Inc., David Krc, Senior Project Manager
Architect & Prime Consultant: Krueck & Sexton Architects – Mark Sexton (Principal in Charge), Ron Krueck (Design Principal), Tim Tracey (Project Architect).
Preservation Architect: Harboe Architects, P.C., Gunny Harboe (Principal in Charge), Douglas Gilbert (Preservation Project Architect).
Forensic Analysis, Structural Engineering:
- Wiss Janney Elstner Associates, Inc., Arne Johnson (Principal in Charge & Structural Engineer), Michael Scheffler, PE (Senior Consultant), Ken Itle (Forensic Project Architect)
- Wiss Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., Paul Gaudette (Concrete Quality Control), Joshua Freedland (Paint Forensics), Jason Aspin (Roofing)
Lighting Consultant: Schuler Shook, Jim Baney, IALD, LC
Chicago Landmark Review: City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development, Landmarks Division, Dijana Cuvalo, Director of Permit Review.
General Contractor: Bulley & Andrews, LLC, Paul Hellermann (President), Bruce Wance (Sr. Project Manager)
Painting Subcontractor: National Decorating Service, Inc.
Travertine Supplier / Fabricator: Mariotti Carlo & Figli S.p.A., Italy
Travertine Testing: Corestone S.r.l
Travertine Installer: Cleveland Marble Mosaic Company, Robert Zavagno Jr. (President), Daniel Ulmer (Project Manager)
Waterproofing Sub-Contractor: Allied Waterproofing, Inc., Bill Leonhard
Landscape Contractor, Landscape Maintenance: Kinsella Landscape, Inc., George Kinsella
Material Testing: STS, Raul Dilig

Cite: Basulto, David. "Mies van der Rohe’s Lake Shore Drive Restoration / Krueck & Sexton Architects" 29 Mar 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=54260>
  • mario

    Like a Montreal. Westmount Square.

  • eduardo

    exquisito. but i hard to remember the original finish. right?

  • fl!p

    westmount square is by mies too..

  • Chiaro Scuro

    Was by here a few months ago….
    One of the contractors working asked me why other people visit and photograph this building. Moments like that really make you put into words your reasons for practicing, loving, and thinking about Architecture.

  • mario

    Yes, exactly. Westmount Square is by Mies too. Three tower and pawilon. Was by here a two year ago. In office manager is model building from 1968. I have many foto model and building. I feel great architecture,its fantastic.

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