Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company Building

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Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company Building
The Sullivan Center (formerly known as the Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company Building or Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company Store) is a commercial building at 1 South State Street in Chicago, Illinois. A Chicago Landmark since 1975, the building was designed by Louis Sullivan, built in 1899 for the retail firm Schlesinger & Mayer, and expanded and sold to Carson Pirie Scott in 1904. Subsequent additions were completed by Burnham in 1906 and Holabid & Roche in 1961. The building was part of the Loop Retail Historic District. It was used for retail purposes from 1899 until 2007.

Architecture
The Sullivan Center was initially developed because of the Chicago Great Fire of 1871. In 1872 the partnership of Leopold Schlesinger and David Mayer began after their immigration from Bavaria, and thus began the road to the production of the Sullivan Center. The building is remarkable for its steel-framed structure, which allowed a dramatic increase in window area created by bay-wide windows, which in turn allowed for the greatest amount of daylight into the building interiors. This provided larger displays of merchandise to outside pedestrian traffic creating the idea of the sidewalk showcase. In between the windows were lavish bands of terra cotta that replaced the earlier plan for white Georgia quarries because it was light weight and inexpensive. Another reason for the change in what type of marble they would use in construction was that stonecutters were having a strike in 1898 during the time of construction. The lavish Bronze-plated cast-iron ornamental work above the rounded tower was also meant to be functional because it was to be as resilient as a sheet of copper. Both the use of bronze and terra cotta was important to setting the building apart from others because it was essentially fire resistant. It created a sense of monumentality. Sullivan thought the building would be an asset to the city for a long period of time. To ensure this great building would last and be resilient against the threat of fire, there was a 40ft water tower put on the roof to supply the sprinkler system with enough water. Sullivan designed the corner entry to be seen from both State and Madison, and that the ornamentation, situated above the entrance, would be literally attractive, which would give the store an elegant unique persona important to the competitiveness of the neighboring stores. The building is one of the classic structures of the Chicago school. The ornate decorative panels on the lowest stories of the building are now generally credited to George Grant Elmslie who was Sullivan's chief draftsman after Frank Lloyd Wright left the firm. When Elmslie left the firm himself the same distinct intricate scrollwork panels left with him and appear in his own designs; and Sullivan's style proceeds elsewhere. These ornamental additions originated from the influence of Celtic metalwork. The way this technique was used by Elmslie on the lower floors of the building were so elaborate that it used the natural lighting and shadows to seem almost as if it were magically floating above the ground. The top floor of the 1899 and 1904 sections of the building were recessed to create a narrow loggia topped by an intricately-detailed cornice that projected beyond the facade of the building. This was removed around 1948 and the 12th floor redesigned to replicate the lower floors. In the early years of development there was an addition that grew to be very valuable in spotting the building from afar. This addition was the pedestrian bridge that connected the train station, behind the store on Wabash Avenue, to the second floor of the Sullivan Center. This to was coated in elaborate metalwork and provided a sense of special entry to those who used it. The Carson Pirie Scott building was briefly featured in the 1988 horror film Child's Play , as the place where Andy Barclay's mother works. Carson's signage can be found during the scene where Karen Barclay buys the Good Guy doll from the homeless peddler. In February 2006, the first phase of a multi-year restoration of the building's upper facade was completed. In addition to cleaning, the cornice and supporting columns were recreated on the 12th floor. In August 2006 the parent company of Carson Pirie Scott, ( Bon-Ton Stores Inc.), announced that after the 2006 Christmas season, the department store in the building would close. There were no immediate announcements as to what would occupy the building after the store's closure. After holding clearance sales, Carson's closed in February 2007. The 600,000-square-foot (56,000 m 2) building, now renamed the Sullivan Center, is currently in the midst of a redevelopment by Joseph Freed and Associates LLC, a real estate developer based in Palatine, Illinois. A 2001 report put the renovation budget at $68.9 million. In 2008, a second renovation project of the decorative iron work on the lower three floors began. This included the State Street facade as well as rear portions of the building which face Wabash Avenue. Part of the funding for this renovation was provided by the City of Chicago. The Wabash facade was completed in August 2009 and the work on State Street in late 2010. Current tenants include School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Gensler. In December 2010, Freed and Associates announced it was in talks with retailer Target who expressed an interest in occupying part of the structure. On February 15, 2011, the retailer announced it would lease 125,000 sq ft (11,600 m 2) spread over two floors of the building. No opening date for the new store was set.