New River North Residential Skyscraper Embraces Cosmopolitan Past

Diagram of 833 North Clark

For the fourth time in the last ten days a new residential building has been proposed for Chicago’s River North neighborhood.

While the last few have been fairly modest—in the 15-story range—this latest one is sizable. Thirty-four stories, including the mechanical penthouse.

Diagram of 833 North ClarkIt’s located at 833 North Clark Street, on the southeast corner of Clark and Chestnut.  But the entire project takes up the western half of the block bounded by Clark, Chestnut, Dearborn, and Chicago

Right now it’s mostly a surface parking lot, and a U.S. Bank building. U.S. Bank actually owns the land, but it’s the little bank building that’s important. That’s because it’s a city landmark.

The former Cosmopolitan State Bank building was designed by Schmidt, Garden & Martin and built in 1920. While most bank buildings of the time were designed to look like The Parthenon in Greece in order to impart a sense of permanency, this bank is in the Georgian Revival style, more in keeping with the Chicago of the time, where art, artists and independent thought were more widely embraced than they are today. The city made it a landmark in 2008.

In seeking permission to build a 34-story skyscraper next door, the developers are obligated to incorporate the landmark building into the project to ensure its continued maintenance. But the city’s Landmarks Commission can derail the tower plan if it doesn’t like what it hears from developers at an upcoming meeting.

Interestingly, in absorbing the historic bank branch into the overall plan, the developers didn’t have to put retail space in the ground floor of the tower section. The bank already includes more than 26,000 square feet of what is technically retail space.

  • Address: 833 North Clark Street
  • Address: 77 West Chestnut Street
  • Developer: Ryan Companies
  • Maximum height: 380 feet
  • Highest occupied height: 365 feet
  • Floors: 34
  • Highest occupied floor: 33
  • Plot: 56,670 square feet
  • Retail space: 26,971 square feet (existing U.S. Bank branch)
  • Residences: 392
  • Parking spaces: 159
  • Bicycle parking: 50 spaces
  • Green roof alert!
  • Green roof size: 14,760 square feet

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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