Pritzker Wants To Sell Thompson Center, Preservationists Want To Save It

thompson center
Lotto winners standing in line to claim prize money at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago. Linda Lutton/WBEZ
thompson center
Lotto winners standing in line to claim prize money at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago. Linda Lutton/WBEZ

Pritzker Wants To Sell Thompson Center, Preservationists Want To Save It

Governor J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday announced a significant step forward in his effort to sell the Thompson Center, a sale he called “long overdue.”

Pritzker said the state will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking “an array of technical and project management expertise” to sell the Thompson Center.

The Helmut Jahn-designed building at 100 W. Randolph Street has been a thorn in the side for some Illinois lawmakers, costing $17 million a year to operate, and in need of more than $300 million in repairs.

Unloading it, Pritzker argues, will “help to build a more efficient state government.” RFP responses are due Oct. 4.

Preservation group Landmarks Illinois supports the sale, but want the governor to include a requirement of retention and reuse of the building, rather than demolition.

Landmark Illinois has included the Thompson Center on its “Most Endangered Historic Places In Illinois” list for the last three years. The National Trust for Historic Preservation including it on its “America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places” list.

Landmarks Illinois president and CEO Bonnie McDonald stops by the Morning Shift for more on what preservationists think the future of the controversial Thompson Center could look like.

GUEST: Bonnie McDonald, president and CEO of Landmarks Illinois