Champlain Building

37-south-wabash-300Champlain/Sharp Building

37 South Wabash

Chicago, IL 60603

Built: 1902

Original Architects: Holabird & Roche

Restoration Architect: Mary Brush, Holabird & Root


Building History
The Champlain building was designed in 1909 by Holabird & Roche.  Located at 37 S. Wabash the building is now the Sharp Building owned by the School of the Art Institute.  The building is a local landmark and part of the Michigan Boulevard National Register District.

Preservation and Building Pathology Challenges
Holabird & Root was retained to design the roof and skylight replacement.  As the preservation group leader, Ms. Brush led the team for the conditions assessment which included concerns for the condition of the parapet wall which would receive the new roof flashing.  Examination of the parapet wall by swing stage identified overall concerns for the terra cotta and brick masonry throughout the facade with specific concern for a 3rd floor terra cotta belt course that had been damaged through previous maintenance campaigns.

Design Solution
Mary Brush performed the hands on inspections of 100% of the building to determine the prioritized repair campaign and developed numerous projected costs to assist the owners through their decision process. The monumental parapet was reconstructed utilizing precise cataloging technique to ensure that the masonry arches, insets, offsets, and corbels were re-installed in their original location.  Terra cotta window heads were replaced with terra cotta.  The 3rd floor belt course was replaced with Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) to match the original units in character, ornamentation and implied joint profiles. The GFRC units span 18′-0″ between structural bays.  The cast iron frames of the second floor monumental windows were determined to be salvageable and were integrated into the new thermally broken replacement window.  This allowed the original relationship between the window frame and facade to be maintained, to the acclaim of the landmark commission.