Construction Update
The Colors of AMLI Clark & Polk

AMLI Clark and Polk under construction

Chicago’s AMLI is pushing forward with its latest project—a two-building mid-rise complex snuggled between South Clark Street and the Metra train tracks leading into LaSalle Street Station.  The pair of 12-story L-shaped buildings replace a failed project originally slated for this property that would have been two 50-story apartment towers with a 1,000 homes.  Sort of the South Loop’s own Presidential Towers.

AMLI Clark and Polk under constructionWhat you see in the photos of 800 South Clark Street is much more modest, with just 199 residences.  After all, there’s no point in cannibalizing rental rates at the AMLI-owned property next door by blocking its views.

When this building was first proposed, neighbors thought it was far too colorful for the neighborhood.  AMLI made some concessions, and that’s why 70% of it is now covered in red bricks.  It’s a nod to some of the dilapidated old warehouses nearby that people love so much.  It also makes sense because this project was originally called “AMLI Lofts.”

But architect Dick Mann did get to keep 30% of his beloved colored metal panels for the facade.  Looking at the buildings as they stand today, they appear to be a giant jumble or maybe a Tetris game.  Set your Little Orphan Annie Secret Decoder Pins to B2 and you’ll be able to envision it when it’s complete:

  • Blue facade – Staying
  • Green facade – Staying
  • Red facade – Staying
  • Yellow facade – Going to be covered up by one of the other three colors

Remember, Annie is depending on you!

AMLI Clark and Polk under construction

Location: 800 South Clark Street, South Loop

 Chicago Architecture Blog photographer Daniel Schell contributed to this report.


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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