Life Span: 1872-1987
Location: NE Corner of Dearborn and Washington Streets
Architect: John M. Van Osdel
NE corner of Washington and Dearborn
MCCARTHY Block, built in 1872, at the northeast corner of N. Dearborn and W. Washington streets, fronting 36 feet on the former and 80 feet on the latter, is four stories and one basement high. John M. Van Osdel was the architect. In the early 1880’s this building was part of the Williams Block, 101-21 N. Dearborn street. Also called the Landfield Building.
In 1987, the McCarthy’s landmark status was revoked, and the building was demolished for the intended redevelopment of Block 37. The long-delayed Block 37 retail and office complex opened in 2009. The office building with the address of 22 West Washington occupies the former site of the McCarthy Building.
Excerpted from Chicago Tribune, May 30, 1956
As far as our research has shown the following is the roll call of Loop buildings built in in 1872, the first year after the fire, and are still standing.
McCarthy bldg., southeast corner of Dearborn and Washington. Another maze of fire escapes, arches, bulges, bay windows, gaudy signs and shop fronts.
Chicago Tribune, October 25, 1973
By Paul Gapp
Urban affairs editor
The 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.
McCarthy Block part of Williams Block
NE corner of Washington and Dearborn
Robinson Fire Map 1886
Volume 3, Plate 1