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Coffey Group Architecture, LLC


Block 37 Mixed-Use Studies

The design for this long empty site was commissioned by a prominent group of retail developers as a civic gesture to give a vision to the City of Chicago for a major mixed-use retail, cinema, hotel and parking center. The vision indicated that a proper retailing mix, coupled with a major interior piazza that is reached via street frontage and the subsurface pedway, would create a project that would turn the State Street Retail District into one of the most exciting and dynamic in the world. A Grand Interior ‘Square’ with four levels of Retail (one at subway station level) would bring to State Street the optimum length of Store frontage for retailers to feed off of the adjacent Macy's and Sears Department Stores. In addition to cinemas, a 500 room hotel and 250 unit condominium with its parking were contemplated.

"The plan has several advantages. The first is its shape - a hollow square, creates public space at the center of the block. The second plus is the way the plan deals with pedestrians. Coffey treats them with far more sensitivity."

"The end result is an intricate mix of activities - not a few big things jammed together, but lots of small things organized as intricately as a Swiss watch. The plan is not a re-creation of what used to be on the block, but a re-urbanization of a plot that threatened to be suburbanized. It is not based on nostalgia, but on the way we live today - and on the place the Loop will be tomorrow." - Blair Kamin, Chicago Tribune