Like constructing a ship in a bottle, this formerly derelict building was transformed with the insertion of four new floors into the original cavernous sixty-foot high building volume. Careful attention was paid to the street level experience as monumental windowsills were removed to create street level access to a new restaurant without destroying the historic nature of the façade. State of the art finishes and systems were installed, and a new elevator lobby, featuring salvaged terra cotta details, was added to access new offices on the upper levels. Lush street scraping, trees, lighting, and paving were provided along the public way to complete the design and create a pedestrian friendly sidewalk.
The 32,075 s.f. renovation has become a model for efficient, adaptive re-use of historic buildings. The Powerhouse has been returned to its former beauty and now stands as a symbol of its historic past as well as the neighborhood’s future. The Powerhouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a recipient of a Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award and an AIA Illinois Award.