Zoom In: West Loop | Zoom in | Chicago Reader

Zoom In: West Loop 

The proposed redevelopment of the old Chicago Main Post Office

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

In ten years the old Chicago Main Post Office building might be occupied again.

In ten years the old Chicago Main Post Office building might be occupied again.

Ian Freimuth

Apart from a couple of cameos in Christopher Nolan's Batman movies, the old Chicago Main Post Office (433 W. Van Buren) hasn't seen much action since it was vacated in 1996. As an abandoned building it's expensive—in 2006 the United States Government Accounting Office estimated the annual holding cost for the retired post office at $2 million—and perilous. A small fire in the building last month is thought to have been caused by the ignition of some soot by a passing train.

But the building, which was added to the National Register of Historical Places in 2001—at one point it was the largest post office in the world—retains its grandeur. According to the Tribune, British developer Bill Davies intends to redevelop the 20-acre campus in a project that's estimated to take ten years and $3.5 billion. Davies plans to build several high-rises, including a skyscraper higher than the Willis Tower, and retail spaces, hotels, and offices—maybe even a casino. The plan for the $450 million first phase of the project was submitted to the city for approval last July.

Have a particular observation or favorite oddity about a neighborhood? E-mail it to zoomin@chicagoreader.com.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Give $35/month →  
  Give $10/month →  
  Give  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Joey Jachowski

Popular Stories