1600 N. Milwaukee rises dramatically above the intersection of North, Milwaukee and Damen Avenues in Wicker Park. Clad in limestone, light colored brick and concrete, this 12-story deco building with a flat-iron footprint from 1929 was designed by architects Perkins, Chatten and Hammond. For over 80 years, the building stood as a visual, but increasingly blighted anchor of the neighborhood.
Fortunately, new owners purchased the building with redevelopment and preservation in mind. Using the guidance of historic preservation standards set by the Secretary of the Interior, Central performed its work starting in 2014: Limestone and brick mortar joints were ground and tuckpointed and deteriorated stone and brick that could not be salvaged were replaced with new stone and brick that closely matched the original materials. Concrete spandrel panels were repaired and preserved. The parapet that was covered with a rubber membrane and shored up with temporary steel, was dismantled, salvaged and rebuilt to its original form. The limestone cladding of the distinct cupola was also salvaged, repaired and rebuilt. Upon completion of masonry work, the building was cleaned. The exterior restoration was thoroughly reviewed by the National Park Service and the City of Chicago to ensure compliance with federal and local preservation standards. The street-facing facades of the neighboring Hollander Fireproof Warehouse building were also restored.
Reopened in 2016 as the The Robey Chicago, this restored art deco gem has been a catalyst for redevelopment of this neighborhood.”