George Schipporeit, architect of Lake Point Tower, dies

August 30, 2013

Lake Point Tower was George Schipporeit and John Heinrich's first commission as architects — and it was a knock-out: a 70-story skyscraper, completed in 1968, that would become one of the most beautiful buildings on the Chicago skyline.

Schipporeit, who was also an associate professor at IIT's College of Architecture, died Thursday. He was 80. (Heinrich died in 1993 at age 65). Schipporeit's work would include the residential tower Asbury Plaza at 750 N. Dearborn and the dark brown, 22-story former Chase Tower in Evanston.

But Lake Point Tower would be Schipporeit's best-known and most spectacular work. Schipporeit and Heinrich — both students of architect Mies van der Rohe — took the modernist box and gave it curves, creating a skyscraper that rivaled the best efforts of their teacher.

Which brings us to the video above. It's the first part of a 1969 documentary, Lake Point Tower: The Story of Building a Building. Schipporeit narrates the documentary and fills it with rich observations and details. Looking at it now, the documentary is a fitting tribute to Schipporeit, Heinrich and the team that created the architectural masterpiece at 505 N. Lake Shore Drive.

Here's the rest of the documentary: