Haymes Partners has refashioned this classic Chicago landmark into a vibrant
student apartment center. Together with MCJ Development and CA Ventures, the
Old Colony Building has been repurposed to appeal to attendees of Illinois’ largest
concentration of urban college campuses. Carefully interweaving a wealth of
surviving historic components with new uses, the completed facility sets a new
standard for housing.
have been accommodated in the 17-story building whose distinctive cream colored
terra cotta bays and curving glass windows afford panoramic views of Chicago's
Loop. Historic glass offices, mosaics, marble wainscoting, plaster arches,
quarter sawn oak trim and wood floors have all been repaired and reused through-out.
Keith Giles notes that, “The restoration of the original wood floors
distinguishes this project from others in the market and warms the environment
like no other material can.” The fully furnished apartments provide an equally
robust array of contemporary finishes and features including everything from
flat screens and wi-fi to laundry and tutors. “The finishes and furnishings
were selected to be a colorful, youthful counterpoint to the historic
building.” according to JJ Smith of CA Ventures. Common amenity elements
include a roof top terrace and event room, BBQ grilles, fully equipped fitness
center, "Collaborate" center and business office. Clearly not your
father's or mother's dormitory.
In 1893, Holabird and Roche won the
commission for the innovative building that was the first to use a portal
braced skeletal frame also following the 'Chicago Construction' method of
carrying a masonry skin. The oversized double hung windows, high ceilings and a
narrow foot print that made for well lit, well ventilated offices also served
to make for the ideal apartment conversion. As a designated Chicago Landmark
and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, compliance with the
Secretary of the Interior Standards for Rehabilitation allowed the project to receive
a $10M tax credit. Restoration of the facade, of the coffered scagliola
ceiling, preservation of the historic corridors, plaster finishes and glass
office partitions were among the requirements that became distinguishing
aesthetic characteristics. The renovation included reopening the closed
Van Buren entrance and restoring the two-story limestone columns and carvings.
Missing storefronts are being restored to their original condition with metal
replica castings. The project is named the “ARC” (arcatoldcolony.com) and
opened its doors to residents in August.