Chicago Tribune Tower Residences

We helped navigate historic landmark status, existing code discrepancies, and complex site infrastructure.

Tribune Tower c Dave Burke 01

Building Permits

The Chicago Tribune Tower is an icon of the city’s skyline. Over the course of seven years MAPS collaborated with the design and development team, along with city departments, to bring this complex project to life.

Built in 1925 and added on to in 1935 and 1950, the Chicago Tribune Tower complex spanned many eras of construction methodology that had to be brought up to contemporary standards, converted to a new use, and be seen as “one” building from a code perspective. MAPS worked hand-in-hand with the design team to evaluate existing conditions and life safety complexities, (baseline wall assemblies, fire ratings, and accessibility conformance). This included bringing shared understanding to elaborate infrastructure below street level, including roughly 10 sublevels and mezzanines.

Tribune Tower c Dave Burke 05
Tribune Tower c Dave Burke 08

The team also served as an advocate and liaison for the client and design team with the Chicago Landmarks Commission. These early conversations were critical to helping define what could be protected, replicated, and demoed. From these conversations MAPS designed a phased permitting approach that met the aspirations of all stakeholders.

This approach included close collaboration with various city and state departments including, but not limited to, the Department of Buildings, Chicago Fire Department, Chicago Department of Transportation, Department of Planning and Development, and Illinois Department of Transportation. MAPS organized on-site walkthroughs early in the process to help city reviewers understand the immense complexity of the project and identify challenges early on. This close partnership streamlined the process and reduced surprises throughout.

MAPS designed a phased permitting approach that met the aspirations of all stakeholders.

Tribune Tower c Dave Burke 03
Tribune Tower c Dave Burke 04

Alternative Code Approvals

As part of this close collaboration, MAPS organized additional touch points during construction to review field conditions and facilitated a final walk-through with the Department of Buildings and Department of Planning and Development.

In total MAPS delivered 39 building permits and 12 alternative code approvals to help bring the project to a successful completion; restoring a Chicago landmark and breathing new life into the city’s premier retail and tourist destination.

435 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, Illinois
Golub and CIM Group
Residential Adaptive Reuse Historic Preservation Retail
Permit Management Code Consulting
Completed 2021

Conversion of a historic landmark office building to residential


34 stories, 162 residential units


SCB, and others

Image Credits

Dave Burk, SCB