A History



Location of Building: 175 W. Washington Street 

Original Name of Building:  Chicago Federation of Musicians

Date of original construction:  1933

Architect:  N. Max Dunning

Chicago Historic Resources Survey Classification: “Orange” (property possesses potentially significant architectural or historical features[3])



The West Loop - LaSalle Street Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 1, 2013.  The West Loop - LaSalle Street Historic District is located at the west side of Chicago’s downtown Loop, which is at the heart of Chicago’s central business district. The Loop was named for the elevated train track system that encircles the central portion of Chicago’s downtown before radiating out to other areas of the city. The district setting is intensely urban, located at the center of one of the largest cities in the U.S. The district extends from the LaSalle Street Bridge over the north branch of the Chicago River, south to the Board of Trade Building at the foot of LaSalle Street. The district is characterized by the canyon effect created along LaSalle Street by massive buildings built up to the sidewalk and maintaining a continuous facade line along the length of the street. This facade line is broken by new construction in limited locations at the north end of the district. However, the vista from the LaSalle Street Bridge is absolutely intact and is nicely framed by Classical and Art Deco styled buildings.



This three-story building fronts on Washington Street and shares a party wall with the adjacent high rise to the west. The first floor is clad in polished granite and consists of a bronze-framed entrance at the east end and an angled, recessed storefront occupying the remainder of the facade. Above the first floor, the facade is clad in limestone and is detailed in low relief with multi-story, fluted pilasters and other sculptural elements. The tall second floor features large window openings of multiple lights and topped with cast metal panels ornamented in low relief depictions of musicians and instruments.  

The building was built for the Chicago Federation of Musicians, a trade union representing musicians. The building was planned to house union offices as well as musician practice rooms and an auditorium for performances. Retail space on the first floor was intended to help financially support the building. Throughout its history, regular union meetings were held within the building. The Chicago Federation of Musicians continued to maintain offices here until about 2004 when the organization moved to new offices on West Randolph Street. The building exterior remains largely as it appeared after the third story addition was completed in 1949 and retains a high degree of integrity.[1][2]


Text taken from:

[1]National Park Service / National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, NPS Form 10-900 OMB No. 1024-0018 (Expires 5/31/2012)