Furniture Mart


680 North Lake Shore Drive

Chicago, IL 60611

Built: 1926

Original Architect: Henry Raeder

Restoration Architect: Mary Brush, Kline & Hoffman


Building History
The American Furniture Mart at 680 North Lake Shore Drive was designed in 1924 by Dunning, Nimmons & Raeder.  The notable feature of the building is the royal blue and gold glazed pyramid atop the tower.

Preservation and Building Pathology Challenges
The owners retained Klein and Hoffman to perform the 100% facade examination of the building with the intention to proceed into phased repairs to circumnavigate the building over a period of several years.

Design Solution
Ms Brush was certified for industrial rope access and proposed to use ropes to examine the tower.  This cost effective approach would allow an assessment of the building’s priorities to be developed prior to erecting elaborate scaffolding on the tower, should another area of the building be determined to be a higher priority.  Vertical Access was retained to rig and examine the tower, with Ms. Brush on ropes to view the conditions first hand.  The tower and terra cotta were determined to be in good condition, allowing capital finances to be allocated to other areas of the facade in need of restoration.