Shoptalk: Fulton Market Architecture Firm Moving to The Loop

If you’ve got some cardboard boxes you don’t need, send them over to Fulton Market.  That’s where the boffins who brought us such Chicago buildings as 3Eleven, 727 West Madison, and The Carlyle are packing up their things and headed eastward.

The Fulton Market offices of FitzGerald associates.  It used to be a dairy. (File)
The Fulton Market offices of FitzGerald associates. It used to be a dairy. (File)

FitzGerald Associates has been camped out in a self-converted loft building at 912 West Lake Street for all of this century.  Now it’s headed to 200 West Adams, in The Loop.  If you’re not familiar with 200 West Adams, it’s the stipey building a block behind Willis Tower.  It also has an in-building Starbucks, which is surely nothing more than a coincidence.

The 103-year-old firm put out a little in-house interview with grand pooh-bah Mike DeRouin talking about the move.  It gives some nice insight into the biz. Here are the highlights:

Michael De Rouin and Richard Whitney of FitzGerald Associates (File)
Michael De Rouin and Richard Whitney of FitzGerald Associates (File)

We’re expanding strongly into the commercial market and every industry is looking closely at how workplaces will be renewed to serve the changing needs of companies and their workforces—ours is no exception. We can design this studio to support our own needs and those of our clients, test our ideas about workplace design, and demonstrate our capabilities to visitors and prospective clients. 

There’s been a lot of discussion internally about our personality as a West Loop / Fulton Market Firm, and how that can be perceived differently in our industry from a “downtown” firm. But we’re steadfast that our passion for exploration and merging of innovation and practicality to achieve our client’s vision will remain intact regardless of our locale. 

When we moved to Lake Street in 2000, CAD was growing in its dominance but hand-drafting still occurred. In those 21 years, we’ve experienced the complete digital transformation to BIM, and gradually became less and less dependent on paper—especially full-sized sheets for every internal and client discussion.

This new office gives us an opportunity to demonstrate our belief in the future of workplace design and, much like the Lake Street studio, the new space will be a sort of showroom for our design ideas… We will be doubling the collaboration space in the new office, and provide a variety of spaces that support the work that an employee or team needs to tackle on that day. Quiet spaces for focus, sonically-isolated spaces for a phone call, lively spaces for collaboration, and flexible, functional gathering spaces for clients, events, and entertainment.  

If you want to read the whole thing (and why wouldn’t you?), this link is your friend.

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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