From the same architects who brought Indianapolis Columbia Club and Circle Tower
comes the Illinois Building.
The Illinois Building is listed as one of “10 most endangered Hoosier Landmarks” by the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana.
This building is currently protected by legal stipulations running from 1919 to 2018, and oh yes, there is talk of tearing it down and building something else.
The Illinois Building has been one of those places where businesses come and go. I remember it went through a grand reopening in the 80s. I remember my father went in on a cocktail bar there. I’d been in there during construction, bore witness to much mauve and brass and I suppose, looking back, it had a sorta Art Deco vibe.
That was right around the time of Claypool Court Mall and the renewal of Union Station — also not so… er, shall we say, long-lasting. In hindsight, of course. At the time here was a lot of marketing, anticipation, and then BOOM! these places were the places to be, so at first everyone went there and everyone talked about them, and then no one went there ever again, the end.
Given the constant revival of the building over the last hundred years, I can see why someone would want to tear it down and start fresh. I’m not in favor of it, but I get it.
Its appraised value is not its market price, as I’m sure you can imagine.
Honestly, I have no idea what’s in there now. No one went in or came out while I photographed it in the middle of a Friday afternoon. There appears to be a bucket in the air-lock, and some writing in the dust of the windows, and I wonder if it’s empty again…
Last time I was inside, I had lunch with Kiwi in the food court, and that had to be twenty or more years ago. I remember a waterfall.
The real estate pages say the property’s interior shows off Italian marble, African mahogany, and terrazzo mosaics, and I’m like “There was a waterfall.”
While the future of the building is uncertain, its doors and related bronze details are certainly gorgeous in my eyes. I cross my fingers and enjoy them for the sake of posterity.
#ThursdayDoors is part of an inspired post series run by Norm Frampton. To see other doors of interest, or to share your own, click the link and find the frog.