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Optima Old Orchard Woods

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Optima Old Orchard Woods


Structure in General

high-rise building
existing [completed]
caisson foundation


residential condominium


  • This is the tallest building in Skokie, and the tallest in the North Shore suburbs outside Evanston.
  • The main entrance is on a large courtyard which faces the forest preserve and features a fountain and reflecting pool.
  • Optima Old Orchard Woods takes its name from the Old Orchard shopping center to the east, and the Harms Woods forest preserve to the west.
  • The building consists of 3 towers joined by multistory bridge sections which contain condominium units suspended over large gaps.
  • The courtyard is enclosed by an open trellis along Woods Drive joining Maple Tower and Oak Tower.
  • Like Optima's other developments, the building has landscaped roof terraces, including a large common garden over the low-rise southwest wing.
  • The size and height of this project were unusually uncontroversial for a suburban high-rise development, since the location was not a residential area during the planning stage.
  • The exterior color scheme is designed to harmonize with the forest across the road.
  • The building presents an architectural spectacle to motorists on the adjoining Edens Expressway, who can experience constantly changing views as the highway curves around the site.
  • The original design called for a simple 11-story open gap between the Oak and Elm Towers. This design was modified slightly to include detached columns and two hanging terraces inside the gap.
  • The three towers are named Oak Tower, Elm Tower, and Maple Tower.

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More Information


9655-9725 Woods Drive
9655-9725 Woods Drive

Technical Data

195.51 ft
Dec 2004

Involved Companies

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Features & Amenities

  • One of the city's famous buildings
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