Famed Chicago Monadnock Building Inspires Design Project Within

by Rebecca Pogonitz  - October 19, 2018

Have you seen Chicago’s famed Monadnock Building?

Monadnock Building, ChicagoWhen I relocated to Chicago many years ago, I was immediately enchanted with the City’s history and its magnificent architecture, so much so that I completed the Docent course at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. As a docent, (skilled ambassador or educator), I had the pleasure of giving walking tours of the prominent historic buildings in the Chicago South Loop area. One of those buildings is the majestic Monadnock Building located at 53 W. Jackson Boulevard.

Monadnock staircaseBuilt between 1891 and 1893 at 16 stories high, it was the tallest load-bearing brick building ever constructed and at the time the largest office building in the world. There were other amazing firsts – its decorative staircases were the first structural use of aluminum in building construction; it employed the first structural wind bracing system in America; and, when it was remodeled in 1938, it was one of the first major skyscraper renovations ever undertaken. Twenty-six years later, after having stood with many groups of tourists in the lobby pointing out the magic of this wondrous building and its architectural history, I am now the hired interior designer for an office suite in this famed structure.

Commissioned For Hale Law LLC

I am thrilled to share GOGO design group’s recent commission for Hale Law LLC, located on the third floor of this spectacular building. Our assignment for the client includes designing:

  • A lounge space for staff meetings, brainstorming sessions and enjoying an occasional beverage
  • A client and attorney waiting area outside the firm’s deposition room
  • And reconfiguring a long corridor that spans the length of the staff offices and serves many functions for daily office life

Monadnock architectureWe started by gathering inspiration from our client’s unique art collection, vintage Chicago memorabilia, existing furnishings, and the Monadnock Building itself. The client’s desire is to create a warm and inviting atmosphere for both his staff and visitors.

Following the client’s request for a residential feel that evokes a sense of home, we created two concepts for consideration and discussion – an art deco inspired motif that conjures the 1930’s modern movement era and a sleek and modern design that incorporates pops of color.

The navy-blue velvet sofa that you see in both concepts was an incredible find at the Twisted Trunk, a fabulous consignment furniture shop in Glenview, Illinois. Keeping our budget at the forefront, we purchased the sofa in a heartbeat and built both concepts around it.

We will reveal our client’s final design in a future post, but in the meantime, here is a sneak-peak into our two visions for Hale Law LLC:

Lounge, Art-Deco Modern Concept:


Inspired by the 1930s interiors created by Eileen Gray, an Irish born architect and furniture designer, (and one of GOGO’s favorite designers smiley emoticon ), we layered various textures, including wool, fur, wood, leather and metal with modern furnishings to create a swanky lounge.

This sleek concept contains clean lines, polished chrome, acrylic and quartz table tops that complement pops of bright color in the art, stools and area rug. While it has a midcentury modern vibe, the sofa and area rug nod to the historic era of the Monadnock Building.

Lounge, Modern Vibe Concept:

We applied the same concepts to the waiting area. One concept has a more vintage feel, while the other is more sleek and modern. In honor of the overall budget, we designed the waiting room using existing wood end tables, display cabinets, and area rug. We simply added seating, and wonderful art from the Hale Law collection.

Stay tuned for the final reveal!

Collaborating with our clients’ vision and budget, while seizing inspiration from their style and project parameters, is proving to be a wonderful and creative experience for us all.

GOGO design group is grateful for the opportunity to create soul-nourishing spaces, inspiring our clients to thrive both at home and work.

Share what inspires you in the comments below. We would love to hear your stories.  smiley emoticon

Happy Holidays! Sending You Love and Joy
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