Evanston’s Tallest Building Gets Spruced Up

With more people heading back to the office, a lot of them are noticing changes. Things like there seems to be an awful lot of parking available these days. And that keeping a stash of fruit in your filing cabinet wasn’t such a good idea after all. If your office travels take you to Evanston, then you may find yourself in Orrington Plaza, which is also sporting a new look.

November, 2021 photo of the Orrington Plaza lobby.  (Courtesy of McHugh Construction.)
November, 2021 photo of the Orrington Plaza lobby. (Courtesy of McHugh Construction.)

It was McHugh Construction that pulled off the $1,600,000 renovation of the 20-story office block in the north shore city’s downtown. Fifteen thousand square feet of space on the lobby and lower levels was upgraded, but somehow still ended up being very very beige. Other work included the HVAC system, the fire system, and security. In addition, the building’s exterior was kitted out with color-changing LED lights.

A combination of reduced foot traffic and the need to draw tenants back to office buildings has led many building owners around the country to renovate their office tower interiors. With a sizable chunk of large companies choosing to remain fully or partially remote, it remains to be seen how effective this strategy is. When the CEO of a billion-dollar healthcare company accidentally reveals that he’s working from home in his slippers, it’s hard to rally the troops to embrace commuting and the other hassles that come with office life.

Location: 1603 Orrington Avenue, Evanston

Author: Editor

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

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