Bank Chasing a New Downtown Tower Location (*cough* Thompson Center *cough*)

People who love the 60-story Fuji-shaped skyscraper at 10 South Dearborn Street are used to seeing it change names.  It was built as First National Bank Plaza. Then it became Bank One Tower. And it eventually adopted the Chase Tower name we know today.  Now that “Chase” brand may find a new home.

Chase Tower (File photo)
Chase Tower (File photo)

The Chicago Tribune reports that Chase is shopping around for a location for a new trophy tower.  The paper says the bank’s options include:

  • 130 North Franklin Street
  • 401 South Wacker Drive
  • 655 West Madison Street
  • 170 North Green Street

Why the sudden interest in a new Chicago headquarters?  It may not be sudden.   The newspaper notes that Chase has browsed before and chosen to stay put.  

The newspaper also notes that with Bank of America and Bank of Montreal planting their flags on awesome new skyscrapers a few blocks away, there could be a little keeping-up-with-the-Joneses happening.   However, this is very unlikely, because bankers have never ever been known to measure their success by the sizes of their stock options, their boats, their skyscrapers, or their trouser mice.

We prefer to think that with banks constantly telling us that where we live is terrible and we should get a new mortgage to fill our lives with perfect slow motion sunsets on a beach with a crackling bonfire, surrounded by fictional grandchildren and assorted warmth and happiness, that perhaps someone at Chase read its own marketing material.

Pinky firmly extended to lips, the Trib says the building could top one-million square feet.  That’s a lot of clogs, and not everywhere in downtown Chicago can handle that big a project.  

Coincidentally, there is a location (Thompson Center) that has recently come up (Thompson Center) for redevelopment (Thompson Center), and its zoning (Thompson Center) would easily allow Chase (Thompson Center) to build the skyscraper of its dreams (Thompson Center) while remaining the center of attention (Thompson Center).

Chase Tower (File photo)
Chase Tower (File photo)

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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