Life Span: 1872-1990
Location: 70 State (old), 126-146 North State Street, SW Corner W. Randolph and State Streets
Architect: Carter Drake & Wright
The Springer Block was built in 1872. Architects were Carter Drake & Wright. In 1888 the building was remodeled, adding two stories. Renamed Bay State and Kranz buildings.
The building has one basement, and rests on spread foundations
Wall construction, finish and color: The walls are made of smooth-surfaced limestone, with small molded string courses between floors at the window sill levels. The northeast corner of the building is cut off diagonally, and was originally the main face. The 1872 date stone at this diagonal face has been covered with a large sign. The original ivory-colored stone and brown trim is visible on the Kranz portion of the building, but the Bay State portion has been painted gray. An assortment of store fronts and signs has obscured the lower two stories.
Over-all dimensions: 78 feet high (the four original stories plus the two added later). The north side is about 34 feet long, divided into three bays. The east side, about 100 feet long, is divided into twelve bays. The upper two-story addition of 1888 extends south, adding two stories to the building at 124 North State Street, which was not part of the original Springer Block, This building to the south at 124 North State Street and the Krana Building section of the Springer Block also share a continuous simple concrete cornice, apparently a recent alteration,
Openings: The windows of the second floor have segmental arched heads with Gothic labels. Third floor windows have segmental arches. The fourth floor windows have semi-circular blind arches with incised carving in the tympana. The windows are made of wood and are double-hung, with single light sash. Two large bay windows on the east side, made of iron, extend from the third through the sixth floor, and cannot date from before the 1888 addition.
Roof: The Bay State part of the building has a molded iron cornice with parapet, probably added later.
Stairways: The building has two passenger elevators.
Cervin Robinson, Historic American Buildings Survey Photographer
August 4, 1963
Chicago Tribune, October 25, 1973
By Paul Gapp
Urban affairs editor
TIHE LANDMARKS Preservation Council has asked city officials to con- sider saving four 19th Century buildings in a north Loop area proposed for urban renewal and partial demolition.
All the structures are in the block bounded by Randolph, Washington, State, and Dearborn Streets.
The Springer Block – a stretch of small buildings on the west side of State Street, reaching southward from the corner of Randolph Street. The council said the buildings are “of exceptional quality” for the period, apparently due to remodeling work by Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler in the late 1800s. They give continuity to State Street retail history, and if revitalized could be of great value to State and Randolph as a regular retail and entertainment center.”
Unity Building-137 Dearborn St. “The only office building by Clinton Warren, the famous hotel architect, and once one of the biggest and most famous buildings In Chicago,” the council said.
McCarthy Building [also known as the Landfield Building]-the northeast corner of Dearborn and Washington Streets. “Designed by John M. Van Osdel, it is one of the few surviving buildings downtown dating from 1872, the year after the great fire. A fine example of the style of the period Very interesting in its juxtaposition to Civic Center plaza and nearby buildings,” the council said.
Methodist Publishing House – now known as the Stop-and-Shop warehouse, 12 W. Washington St. The council said it was designed by Otis L. Wheelock and is “a nice example of the bay window variant of the Chicago , enhanced with Sullivanesque orna- ment.”
None of the buildings have been designated an architectural landmark by the city.
THIE COUNCIL, a private organization, made its plea to save the building in a letter to Lewis W. Hill, the city s urban renewal commissioner. It suggested a small governmental committee be formed to study the buildings.
A federal environmental impact statement will be required if the city moves ahead with the renewal project, the council said. Such statements must include an evaluation of architecturally important buildings.
An undetermined number of buildings would be torn down and the cleared land sold to developers for construction of housing, office, and other structures in an irregularly shaped six-block renewal area.
Hill said it will take six months to complete a feasibility study of the -dollar project.
Sources: Historic American Buildings Survey, National Park Service, Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation, 1963