Developer:Village Green Builders: Linn-Mathis and Central Building and Preservation
Architects:Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture; Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associated; Wolff Landscape Architecture; BKV Group; MacRostie Historic Advisors
Number of units: 312
Unit mix: Studios to two-bedrooms
Rents:$1,290 to $6,805
For years, Randolph Tower blighted the block it occupied in Chicago’s business district. It wasn’t unheard of for pieces of the terra-cotta façade of the building, built in 1929, to chip and fall on pedestrians walking below. But when Village Green stepped in to rehabilitate the 45-story structure, which formerly housed a German-American fraternal organization, the developer went out of its way to keep the building’s 1920s aura alive.
The developer refurbished 80 percent of the building’s surface, using more than 14,000 new, handmade cladding pieces crafted by one of only three terra-cotta manufacturers in existence. In fact, the property is the largest terra-cotta restoration project in the state, featuring classical details around every corner.
Inside, residents can pick their own interior finishes in units featuring 9- to 12-foot ceilings. Other amenities include a “sky club,” indoor pool, and café.
The building’s sense of history even extends to its elevator walls, which show copies of irreparable hand-painted murals found on the ceilings and walls of the original building’s ballroom, created almost 85 years earlier. Even though it commands some of the highest rents in Chicago’s Loop, Randolph Tower leased up more quickly than any property in Village Green’s history: Within 10 months, the building was 95 percent full.