Alderman Brendan Reilly, 42nd, has requested to the city’s Commission on Landmarks that preliminary landmark designation be started on Marina City, 300 N. State St. The designation would include the corncob-shaped towers as well as the House of Blues, Hotel Sax, and Smith & Wollensky structures.
Reilly said earlier this week he had strong support among the property owners, and that it’s a “little known fact,” the Bertrand Goldberg-designed city within a city---built 1959-64 --- is not already landmarked.
“You’ll find this structure on every snow-globe at O’Hare,” Reilly said. “It’s one of the most high-profile, historical buildings in the city of Chicago.”
Reilly said Marina City was the very first planned development for a mixed-use community with commercial, retail and residential uses all in one self-contained neighborhood. He said his interest in landmarking was sparked when Dick’s Last Resort recently moved in and proposed a small change to allow a garage-style door on its patio.
“I want to preserve the towers and keep that part of downtown’s architectural fabric,” he said.
According to its Web site, Marina City ---which occupies an entire city block--- consists of two 61-story corncob residential towers, a mid-rise hotel building and a saddle-shaped auditorium building, all contained on a raised platform cantilevered over defunct railroad tracks adjacent to the river. Beneath the raised platform at river level is a small marina for boaters, the site says.