Top 40 Buildings in Chicago

EDIFICE REX: Chicago reigns as the country’s architectural king, as our top 40 buildings proudly attest

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Great buildings in Chicago

To celebrate our magazine’s 40th anniversary this December, we name the 40 best records, restaurants, movies, and more

#30: Serta International Center
2600 Forbs Ave., Hoffman Estates
(Epstein, 2009)
The architect Andrew Metter fused a Prairie-style vibe with a spare Miesian grace for this suburban corporate headquarters.

#29: Prudential Building
130 E. Randolph St.
(Naess & Murphy, 1955)
For years Chicago’s tallest building, this limestone behemoth initiated a revival of downtown construction, dormant since the Depression.

#28: NBC Tower
454 N. Columbus Dr.
(Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, 1989)
Adrian Smith’s contribution to the Cityfront Center development updated the 1930s Art Deco style.

#27: 333 West Wacker Drive
(Kohn Pedersen Fox, with Perkins + Will, 1983)
A mix of modern and classical design, William Pedersen’s green-class building mirrors the nearby bend in the Chicago River.

#26: Lake Point Tower
505 N. Lake Shore Dr.
(Schipporeit-Heinrich Associates, with Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, 1968)
Based on a Ludwig Mies van der Rohe design from 1921, its curving glass walls reflect the lakeside setting.

#25: Union Station
210 S. Canal St.
(Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, 1925; 1992 renovation, Lucien Lagrange Architects)
The station’s Great Hall is the last reminder of Chicago’s glory days as the country’s railroad hub.

#24: United Airlines Terminal One Complex
at O’Hare International Airport
(Murphy/ Jahn, with A. Epstein & Sons, 1987)
The soaring barrel-vaulted concourses dazzle—but don’t overlook Helmut Jahn’s functional design.

#23: Wrigley Building
400 N. Michigan Ave.
(Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, 1920, 1924)
Brightly illuminated at night, this wedding cake of a building defies categorization.

#22: Aqua
225 N. Columbus Dr.
(Studio Gang Architects, 2009)
Universally praised for its visual and technical innovation, Jeanne Gang’s rippling Lakeshore East skyscraper found an immediate home on the skyline.

#21: Tribune Tower
435 N. Michigan Ave.
(Howells & Hood, 1925)
Built from a design selected from more than 250 entries to a 1922 contest, this neo- Gothic tower serves as a gateway to the Magnificent Mile.

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