"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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)