Creve Coeur, MO
Brookfield Properties is re-imagining and renovating one of Chicago’s most iconic buildings, the historic Marshall Field’s department store and current Macy’s flagship store in the loop.
The Marshall Field and Company brand is rooted deep in Chicago’s history; its flagship retail State Street building has been an iconic place to shop for patrons across the country for decades. This adaptive reuse project included a lower-level building infrastructure renovation, a new office entry, a lobby with 14 completely new high-speed elevators, and an office build-out of the iconic structure’s highest seven floors, topped off with incredible amenities.
Renovations in the lower levels enhanced aesthetics inside and out, including a grand entrance and exterior canopy at the new office space address of 24 East Washington, leading into a main lobby exclusive to tenants of the building’s new office floors. The lower-level design remains loyal to Marshall Field’s classic ornamental gold features while adding warm, modern finishes. Top floors, eight through fourteen, have been remediated from their historical condition and transformed into white space for office build-outs.
The multi-functional urban rooftop escape adorns the top of the iconic Macy’s Building offering tenants views of Chicago’s loop and Lake Michigan.
With respect to the building’s original design and Landmark approval, all rooftop elements could not be visible from the street. To ensure this, the team drew sections to understand pedestrians’ field of view from various points at street level to determine edge railings, shade structures, and landscape placement. Points were roughly marked on the roof with temporary flagpoles representing the shade structure and tree height to confirm they remained hidden. Integrating with the construction firm, Clayco, the team used digital scanning and physical exploration of walls and floors to understand how it was initially built and helped define the structural capacity.
Obstacles aside, the history of the building played a fundamental role in the design of the space with notable elements woven throughout the project: furniture selection offers a nod to Marshall Field’s signature dark green color, copper ornamentation was inspired by the original water features, and the shade structure design draws heavily from the adjacent elevated CTA tracks that have served the building’s customers for decades.
The deck features a garage door that opens during the warmer months to allow seamless movement between indoor and outdoor areas. Planting design takes cues from the historic nature of the building with a modern twist on formal garden planting design using a variety of colors from early spring through late fall. A large shade structure defines zones and is on axis with a synthetic turf lawn with significant water features terminating the axis. Situated atop the 13-story building, the showstopper is the rare 360° view.
The collaborative design-build project is a successful example of how Clayco and LJC work together to uphold the integrity of a historic structure while redesigning 650,000 SF of space for a new purpose. Macy’s Flagship office space and its rooftop terrace maintain its iconic status and will be sought-after by tenants for years to come.