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Iconic Old Main Post Office Is Finally Getting A Facelift

By Stephen Gossett in News on Oct 7, 2016 4:24PM

For two decades, Chicago’s Old Main Post Office has stood unused, hulking along the west side of the Chicago River, near The Loop. Even in disrepair, the historic Art Deco icon could hardly be called an eyesore (Christopher Nolan thought if visually interesting enough to use the location twice in Batman filming.) But renovations are at long last underway to restore the building’s famous fa├žade, Curbed reports.

A renovation/alteration building permit was issued on Wednesday, and crews were spotted working on Old Main shortly thereafter, as seen in a photo posted online on Thursday.

This is just phase one in a monumental project between developers 601W Companies, Gensler architects and the City of Chicago to transform the long-vacant property. The final project will see the onetime fire magnet developed into office space, a three-acre rooftop park and a riverwalk. It is expected to cost $500 million and take up to five years to finish.

When the city announced the court-approved arrangement with 601W back in July, it included a series of firm year-by-year deadlines, likely prompted by a long stretch in which foot-dragging former owner Bill Davies failed to make headway on his vision of a “microapartments” estate. Davies died the very next day after selling Old Main.

No word yet on how long exterior renovations are expected to take, but we'll let you know if and when Gensler confirms.