James R. Thompson Center, Chicago

2.9
#401 of 610 in Things to do in Chicago
The James R. Thompson Center (JRTC) is located at 100 W. Randolph Street in the Loop district of Chicago and houses offices of the Illinois state government.Early historyThe building opened in May 1985 as the State of Illinois Center. It was renamed in 1993 to honor former Illinois Republican Governor James R. Thompson. The property takes up the entire block bound by Randolph, Lake, Clark and LaSalle Streets, one of the 35 full-size city blocks within Chicago's Loop. In front of the Thompson Center is a sculpture, Monument With Standing Beast, by Jean Dubuffet. The Thompson Center is sometimes referred to as the State of Illinois Building.DesignThe Thompson Center was designed by Helmut Jahn of Murphy/Jahn now called JAHN Architects. It opened to mixed reviews by critics, ranging from "outrageous" to "wonderful". The color of the street-level panels were compared to tomato soup. The 17-story, all-glass exterior curves and slopes facing a plaza on the southeast corner of the property. The design simultaneity looks forward with advanced architectural tectonics (of the time) and back to recapture the grandeur of large public spaces. Visitors to the Thompson Center's interior can see all 17 floors layered partway around the building's immense skylit atrium. The open-plan offices on each floor are supposed to carry the message of "an open government in action."
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James R. Thompson Center Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
58 reviews
Google
4.0
TripAdvisor
  • I love photographing cool architecture. If you do too, you must go to this building. The atrium is huge and impressive. Bring a wide angle lens! I used a fisheye lens and it was perfect. Quick to walk...  more »
  • from inside its much more interresting than from outside. lots of choices in the atrium foofcourt and an impressive space inside. its closed on sundays  more »
Google
  • Not only is the Thompson Center a building full of character and charm, but it is home to over a dozen retail food vendors and local businesses. You can grab a bite to eat at the immaculate food court in the basement and then browse the shops upstairs. The artwork surrounding the building as well as the buildings architecture is something to stop and take a moment to soak in.
  • Four stars for not being able to use elevators to the top floor - 9/11 consequences. Otherwise extremely impresive architecture by Helmut Jahn, opened in 1985.

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