330 North Wabash

Orientation & Geography

North America, United States, Chicago

330 North Wabash (formerly IBM Plaza also known as IBM Building) is a skyscraper in downtown Chicago, Illinois, at 330 N. Wabash Avenue, designed by famed architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (who died in 1969 before construction began). A small bust of the architect by sculptor Marino Marini is displayed in the lobby. The 52-story building is situated on a plaza overlooking the Chicago River. At 695 feet, 330 North Wabash is the second-tallest building by Mies van der Rohe, the tallest being the Toronto-Dominion Bank Tower at Toronto-Dominion Centre. It was his last American building. The building's corporate namesake no longer owns nor has offices in the building. IBM sold Plaza IBM to the Blackstone Group in 1996. IBM all but completed its move out of IBM Plaza as of early 2006, taking up space in the new Hyatt Center building closer to Union Station. Law firm Jenner & Block is vacating ten prime top floors of the building in spring of 2010. IBM Plaza has several design features that are rare in an office building but understandable given its original owner. The building's electrical system, environmental system, floor strength, and ceiling height (on certain floors) can support large "raised floor" computing centers. Also, the "banked" intelligent elevator system is a model of efficiency and rarely keeps anyone waiting for service. IBM Plaza stayed dry during the 1992 Chicago Flood. Notable tenants as of 2006 include the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Perkins and Will's founding/largest office, the international architectural firm DeStefano Partners, and several smaller law firms. Prime Group Realty Trust, a subsidiary of The Lightstone Group, the building's current owner considered partially converting it to condominiums in 2006. Those plans were soon abandoned. In 2007, plans were announced to convert floors two through fourteen of the fifty-two story building into a high-end hotel. The building was declared a Chicago Landmark on February 6, 2008 and added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 26, 2010. It is also the newest building in Chicago in terms of age on both lists.