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Blue Cross-Blue Shield Tower

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Blue Cross-Blue Shield Tower
Blue Cross Blue Shield Building


Structure in General

existing [completed]
composite structure
caisson foundation
curtain wall
blue silver
flat roof


commercial office


  • A landscaped plaza fills out the building lot on the north and east sides, with views of the Lakeshore East complex.
  • The building's site was chosen because of its good land value at the time, and has little to do with the fact that other large insurance companies are located nearby. (Aon for instance moved next door later.)
  • The elevators facing the atrium are enclosed in translucent fritted glass so as not to give riders vertigo.
  • The building won separate Honor Awards from the American Institute of Architects in 1998 for its overall and interior design.
  • The 33-story first phase was started in 1995 and completed in 1997. The 24-story second phase started in 2007 and was completed in 2010.
  • The building was designed to be built in two phases to meet an expected need for additional space.
  • The facade facing Grant Park is sometimes used at night as an illuminated billboard, displaying words formed by opening and closing window shades.
  • Fritted glass is used extensively throughout the building: on the facade, in the elevators, and on interior partitions around the atrium.
  • The lobby's centerpiece is an oval reception desk with an oval halo hanging overhead. These round forms are mirrored 14 floors higher by the 'Shaker Lodge' meeting room.
  • Unlike most composite-structure skyscrapers, the majority of elevators in this building are located outside the concrete service cores.
  • The piers on the east and west facades are clad in granite, giving this building the last full-height original facade of any high-rise built in Chicago using any kind of natural stone.
  • The facade materials were chosen to show mimimal aging, so that the future vertical addition would show no visible discontinuity.
  • A large signboard on the lower level of the lobby holds plaques dedicated to the insurance company's 100 largest customers.
  • A circular stone Shaker lodge was built in the middle of the 15th floor to house the executive meeting room.
  • Architect James Goettsch of Goettsch Partners was the designer for the project. The first phase was completed under the firm name of Lohan Associates (now Goettsch Partners).
  • This was the only office high-rise constructed in Chicago between 1992 and 1999. It was built in a glutted market, but Blue Cross required a large block of contiguous space which was not available elsewhere.
  • A 37-story proposal called 300 East Randolph was planned for this site in 1989.
  • An enormous atrium, open to the public by special arrangement only, runs up the north side of the building.
  • The concourse level below Randolph Street is connected to the Grant Park underground garage by hanging walkways under Upper Randolph.
  • The conference center under the back plaza features an extensive collection of art from the City of Chicago's Gallery 37 program for student artists.

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More Information


300 East Randolph Street
151 North Columbus Drive
300 East Randolph Street

Technical Data

743.08 ft
743.08 ft
743.08 ft
683.43 ft
13.16 ft
May 1995
2007 - 2010

Involved Companies

VOA Associates, Inc.

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Features & Amenities

  • Atrium is present
  • Doorman is available
  • Panoramic elevators are present
  • Pedway access is available
  • Plaza is available to the public
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