Dissecting What’s New at McDonald’s: Its Headquarters Building

Rendering of the proposed McDonald's Headquarters at 1058 West Washington Boulevard

Rendering of the proposed McDonald’s Headquarters at 1058 West Washington Boulevard (Courtesy of Gensler)

If you were alive in the 1970’s, you probably remember the correct way to build a Big Mac for McDonald’s is “two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun.”  But how do you construct a building for McDonald’s? That’s why we’re taking a closer look at the new McDonald’s Corporate Headquarters coming to 1058 West Washington Boulevard in West Town.

The new building, designed by Gensler and developed by Sterling Bay, will replace the former Harpo Studios Building.  That structure, which today looks like something out of the Jetsons, was originally a cold storage facility, like many other buildings in the neighborhood.  It is most famous for storing the cold, dead bodies of the victims of the Eastland Disaster in 1915. There were also a couple of TV shows filmed there a while back.

The new building will rise as a fairly standard brick-and-glass block, to blend in with the neighborhood.  Closer to the top it’s a little more interesting as portions of the building’s brick exterior end at the sixth, eighth, or ninth floor, revealing the glass box core, and offering outdoor terraces with glass railings.

Check out the diagrams and the firehose, after this taste of the past:


Now open wide for the firehose:

  • Address: 1058 West Washington Boulevard
  • Address: 100 North Carpenter Street
  • Address: 101 North Aberdeen Street
  • Address: 1033 West Randolph Street
  • Current zoning: DX-3
  • Requested zoning: DX-5 to PD
  • Developer: 110 North Carpenter LLC
  • Architecture firm: Gensler
  • For realsies: Sterling Bay
  • Height: 150 feet
  • Floor area ratio: 7.0 (5.0 base plus 2.0 Neighborhood Opportunity Bonus)
  • Neighborhood Opportunity Fund contribution: $3,222,164.48
  • Adopt-a-Landmark Fund contribution: $402,770.56
  • Local Impact Fund contribution: $402,770.56
  • Net site area: 86,804 square feet
  • Minimum parking: 87 spaces
  • Minimum loading docks: Five
  • Parking garage access: Via West Washington Boulevard
  • Loading dock access: Via West Washington Boulevard
  • Office entry: From North Carpenter Street
  • Market entry: From North Aberdeen Street
  • Outdoor terrace: Level 9
  • Outdoor terrace: Level 6
  • Outdoor terrace: Level 2
  • Green roof alert! 25,497 square feet

Location: 1058 West Washington Boulevard, West Town

Author: Editor

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

Share This Post On