Blue in the Loop

10 South La Salle

10 South La Salle

There are plenty of photos and postcards showing Chicago’s famous red skyscraper, the CNA Center ().  But not everyone knows that there is also a blue skyscraper in the Loop.

The building at 10 South LaSalle Street is widely considered to be among the ugliest buildings in Chicago.  In part because it was one of the city’s first facade-ectomies.  

The former Otis building had its roof removed, and the blue 37-story skyscraper was built inside.  It’s a terrible marriage of 1880’s and 1980’s aesthetics, especially when viewed from the street.

In the picture above, there is no clash between old and new.  It’s one of the rare chances to admire the skyscraper portion on its own.  Seen in that light, it’s not completely terrible.  At least not any more terrible than its red counterpart a few blocks away.


Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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1 Comment

  1. I didn’t love the CNA building for the longest time, however now with the new Roosevelt University tower completed I finally appreciate it. Seeing the striking deep blue color of Roosevelt against the stark red of CNA from certain angles is very nice.

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