#ThursdayDoors — Illinois Building

From the same architects who brought Indianapolis Columbia Club and Circle Tower

 

comes the Illinois Building.

IMG_3434

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 reopeningΒ 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.

IMG_3437

#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.

About joey

Neurotic Bitch, Mother, Wife, Writer, Word Whore, Foodie and General Go-To-Girl
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53 Responses to #ThursdayDoors — Illinois Building

  1. loisajay says:

    I wish they would just gut the inside (if they have to) but keep the building. The doors and bronze work are most definitely gorgeous, Joey.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Dan Antion says:

    I would almost always want to see a building like this be restored instead of replaced. I know it’s expensive, but what makes anyone think the replacement will have greater success. Then you will have a blah-empty building. I love the entrance, and those lamps! The hanging lamps are amazing. And Like the waterfall (cause I’m sure there’s a waterfall in there).

    Liked by 2 people

    • joey says:

      There really was a waterfall.
      I agree — It’s a prime location for many types of businesses, but the building itself seems to be tainted from former failures. I think the longest-standing modern businesses may have been Gold’s gym and the food court. Hard to imagine the food court failed… I think it’s about putting the right things in there. And um, using signs to attract customers.
      It’s a fab building. I keep hope.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think we’re literally as well as figuratively all on the same page here. I’m sure they’ll take that into consideration, right?

    janet

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ally Bean says:

    Such a pretty and historic facade deserves to be given a second chance. Your photo of the doors makes me want to walk inside right now, and sit by that former waterfall.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A lot of buildings are in trouble today. Internet commerce has changed the needs for them. It needs something special. Maybe a brothel would work. “We validate parking, etc.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ghostmmnc says:

    Wonderful old building! Too bad nothing lasted in there business wise. Have they tried making it into apartments/lofts? We have one old one here, and that’s what they did with it. If the building is sound, not crumbling down, then they should keep it. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      It’s been an office building, primarily. I don’t know if it’s housed apartments, but I did see something about a hotel.
      It really is a shame, I hope we get to keep it πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. WOW! Forget the doors, I ❀ those sconces!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Benson says:

    Anyone who even thinks about tearing that building down should be smacked. We should hang onto those old buildings. Have you seen the garish things that are being passed off as apartment buildings in the city. The architects must not realize that Legos are not meant for big people construction.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      YESSSS, I have seen the atrocities modernizing our city! Malignant high rises jammed into historical areas like bruises on a lovely pair of legs. Yesssss.
      For every one done well, there are three eyesores! Why are architects in love with glass panels?!?
      I hate to say it, but everything I read indicated complete repurposing of materials in a new structure. Only one article suggested its grandeur and incredible location.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Norm 2.0 says:

    It’s sad when the impetus isn’t there to make something work. A huge, beautiful building in a prime location and no one has any ideas or the financial backing (?) to make this the successful place that it could be? Here’s to hoping that it changes for the better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      It really is sad. I can’t speak to the available means of parties considering it, but much of what I read was quite dire.
      It is a fabulous location. Circle, market, statehouse — PRIME.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I hope the building is restored. The brass doors, and lamps are lovely. The marble and mahogany sounds beautiful too.
    A waterfall on the inside sounds neat. I worked in a building years and years ago that had a little stream and waterfall in it. It took up almost the entire first floor. It was so pretty, and sounded amazing…but it was humid in there! I worked in sales then so didn’t spend much time in the office. While I enjoyed the looks, and sound of the waterfall I did not like the humidity.

    The exterior of the Illinois Bldg reminds me of Organ pipes. I wonder what the architect had in mind?

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      I know what you mean — one of the professional buildings at the hospital has a big waterfall in it, and it is so pretty and peaceful, but it IS humid in there!
      I’m glad you like these doors, I love them — all the bronze sets me to swoon πŸ˜›

      Like

  11. ianbcross says:

    Don’t let them tear it down! Impressive building, super shots.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Josh Wrenn says:

    I hope they save it!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What an interesting looking building–such a visual treat! It’s definitely worth preserving. It has so much potential. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh I hope they don’t tear it down, Joey. The bronze is lovely, it would be such a shame.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. bikerchick57 says:

    Older buildings have so much beauty and character! I hope they keep the Illinois Building and its charm. I agree with Lois…update the inside, but leave the exterior alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. jesh stg says:

    Noo! looking at it – it has too much history and ambiance (I call it “atmosphere”) Somebody start a petition! I am for modern, but you’re right, it will be a blah building compared to what I see here.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. JT Twissel says:

    Oh yeah – they have to at least save those doors. Tell them I said so!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I hope the building is preserved. New buildings don’t have the character and craftsmanship of the old historic buildings. Crossing my fingers.
    Donna

    Liked by 1 person

  19. larva225 says:

    All Art Deco should be sacred, dammit.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I also hope this building will be preserved. As a still newcomer to this country I admire the different American architecture. France has some pretty good-looking buildings but the US came up with impressive ones too. Including some amazing doors.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. marianallen says:

    That is one beautiful building! What a shame, if it’s torn down. It just needs to find its right tenants and clients. I hope it gets its chance.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. It would be a dreadful shame to tear down the building with its eyecatching doors and brasswork, surely something could be done with it?!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I love those bronze doors. If they do decide to tear it down, I hope that they carefully take out the character filled pieces and not just demolish it altogether!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. slfinnell says:

    With all these votes ‘for’ it. maybe it’s a sign people would want to actually live in it? It has my vote too!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Pingback: Writing Links 7/17/17 – Where Genres Collide

  26. I don’t understand why they tear down beautiful buildings and structures when they can’t build something good enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. reocochran says:

    Ooh, aah! I loved the windows and the carved tableaux. I wish this building luck and advertising to promote its future. I really treasure hanging lamps and those gorgeous bronze intricate patterns and designs. I want to see a photo of the waterfall! Don’t they have an archive postcard or something? Thanks Joey for this feast for the eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

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