One of the Most Significant Restorations in Chicago, Final Blocks of Terra Cotta are Being Shipped for the Old Main Post Office

The Old Main Post Office is a 1921, Neoclassical structure in Chicago, Illinois that is currently being restored in its entirety. This adaptive re-use project contains 2.8 million square feet with 9-stories, making one of the most significant restorations in Chicago. Construction will wrap up in late 2019 for tenants to move into unique, renovated spaces. Boston Valley Terra Cotta is currently shipping the last blocks of terra cotta masonry to the site for installation.

The historic building, designed by Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, used to be Chicago’s main federal post office. Once complete, the interior will be completely transformed into contemporary office and commercial spaces with amenities, such as a food hall, a 3-acre rooftop terrace, and public riverwalk. Gensler is leading this restoration, working with preservation architects Mcguire, Igleski & Associates, and forensic consultants at Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates and installer Mark1.

In total, 2000 blocks of terra cotta masonry were fabricated for the restoration of The Old Main Post Office. Boston Valley’s manufacturing capabilities have shined through the course of this project, since many different shaped pieces needed replication. Duplicates of original masonry have been fabricated using all four forming methods – Hand Press, Slip Casting, Extrusion, and RAM Press – to more efficiently produce new terra cotta units.

Click here to read our previous blog about the Old Main Post Office

Old Main Post Office, Gensler, 601 W Companies, Wiss, Janney, Elstner, Mcquire, Igleski & associates, terra cotta restoration, architectural terra cotta
Once units are formed, they are brought to the finishing department for final details.
Old Main Post Office, Gensler, 601 W Companies, Wiss, Janney, Elstner, Mcquire, Igleski & associates, terra cotta restoration, architectural terra cotta
A side profile of a masonry unit for the Old Main Post Office.
Old Main Post Office, Gensler, 601 W Companies, Wiss, Janney, Elstner, Mcquire, Igleski & associates, terra cotta restoration, architectural terra cotta
Terra cotta masonry after glaze application and firing.