The future of the Thompson Center is looking brighter


Docomomo US staff


Advocacy, StarshipChicago, Chicago, Thompson Center
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On December 15 the preservation world received some unexpectedly good news: Governor Pritzker had chosen a developer for the Thompson Center whose proposal included retaining the structure as a mixed-use property with office, retail and hotel space.

The Thompson Center has been on the radar of Docomomo US and our local chapter, Docomomo US/Chicago, for years and we have been advocating for its preservation alongside our partners including Preservation Chicago, Landmarks Illinois, Preservation Futures, MAS Context and the National Trust for Historic Preservation through multiple administrations. In the summer of 2021 there was a major breakthrough when the Illinois Historic Sites Advisory Council voted to nominate the Thompson Center to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. If the nomination is eventually approved, it would provide incentives for developers to restore the building via state and federal historic tax credits.

Based on the renderings provided by Prime Group, the selected developer, there is still a long road ahead in terms of what the final product will look like, but this is a huge step in the right direction. Docomomo US is cautiously optimistic and looks forward to continuing to advocate for the Thompson Center's aesthetic, cultural, and social significance.

Advocacy efforts like these take a lot of time and resources. You can directly support the work of Docomomo US to save threatened modern sites by donating to our Advocacy Fund