Chicago Landmarks

Former Chicago Historical Society Building

Dearborn St. elevation     Address: 632 N. Dearborn St.
Year Built: 1892
Architect: Henry Ives Cobb
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: February 26, 1997

Ontario St. elevation One of the city's few remaining and best examples of Romanesque Revival architecture, this monumental, picturesque-style structure was designed by one of the era's most successful architects. It is generally considered one of Cobb's finest works. The Chicago Historical Society occupied the building from the 1890s until 1931; it was that organization's need for a fireproof structure that accounts for the structure's granite-clad construction. The building's later uses included the prestigious Institute of Design and recording studios for influential blues and rock n' roll performers in the 1950s and '60s.