ok We use cookies on our website to allow you the best possible service. More information can be found here.
Your location:

Old Colony Building

View all 9 images Download as PDF Purchase Images


Old Colony Building


Structure in General

high-rise building
existing [completed]
rigid frame
spread foundation
applied masonry
chicago school


commercial office


  • The original foundations included a row of caissons near the south end, inserted below a jacked-up frame to stop the uneven settlement that was beginning.
  • The facade is cream-colored Roman brick which has turned black with soot, and terra-cotta ornamental trim. The base is clad in Bedford limestone.
  • The entrance is flanked on both sides by the seal of the Plymouth Colony.
  • On the narrow side horizontal lines are emphasized, while vertical lines are foregrounded on the wider façades.
  • First skyscraper ever to use arched portal bracing, a technique used for stability in bridges.
  • Located in a virtual museum of early skyscrapers: a two-block section of Dearborn which also includes the Monadnock, Manhattan, and Fisher Buildings.
  • Originally built mostly on spread foundations, caissons were added later under the eastern columns to shore the foundation against the Dearborn Street subway.
  • Built by a Boston lawyer, the building is named in honor of the first English colony in America at Plymouth, Massachusetts.
  • The girders and floor beams are steel, but the columns in the structural skeleton are made of wrought iron.
  • The four corners of the building feature rounded window bays.
  • When the building opened the interior featured extensive mosaic tiling, oak woodwork, Italian marble, and ornate wrought-iron elevator grilles. Most of this has disappeared in subsequent modernizations.
  • Since the rounded bays project beyond the lot line, the building's architects proclaimed proudly that the site had achieved an occupancy greater than 100%.

Do you need more information about this building and its related companies?

More Information


407 South Dearborn Street
35 West Van Buren Street, 400 South Plymouth Court
407 South Dearborn Street

Technical Data

198.00 ft
211.75 ft
68.01 ft
148.00 ft

Involved Companies

Holabird & Roche

Show now
Show now
Show now
Found a mistake?
Related Buildings