Sullivan Center

Sullivan Center, Chicago: Address, Phone Number, Sullivan Center Reviews: 4.5/5

Sullivan Center
4.5
Architectural Buildings • Department Stores
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About
A unique rounded entrance marks one of the city's true architectural gems, the last major structure designed by famed architect Louis Sullivan.
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Downtown / The Loop
Often visitors' first stop in Chicago, The Loop is a good starting point to sample the city's energy and flavor. This central business district boasts Michelin-rated restaurants, upscale hotels, premier shopping, and enough arresting architecture to keep your camera busy for hours. You won’t find too many photo galleries of downtown Chicago without a shot of Millennium Park and Cloud Gate (“The Bean”), one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. A stunning skyline coupled with cultural attractions like the Art Institute of Chicago present a Downtown where work and play peacefully coexist.
How to get there
  • Monroe • 3 min walk
  • Monroe • 4 min walk

4.5
27 reviews
Excellent
16
Very good
7
Average
1
Poor
1
Terrible
2

Taylor B
Chicago, IL7,542 contributions
Oct 2020
Native Chicagoans, like me, remember when State State in downtown Chicago was known as The Great Street, before there was a Magnificent Mile on the north side of the Chicago River. It was the street of Marshall Field's, the Chicago Theater, the Palmer House and Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company. Today, Carson's is known as the Sullivan Center, a 943,944-square-foot, three-building complex that houses the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and national retailer Target. Located at 1 South State Street, at the corner of East Madison Street, the structure is mostly known for its architecture. It was designed by Louis Sullivan in 1899 for a retail firm. Another famous architect, Daniel Burnham, also did work on the building. It is remarkable for its steel-framed construction, which allowed a dramatic increase in window area created by bay-wide windows, which in turn allowed for the greatest amount of daylight into the building interiors. The design was the first use of what became known as the Chicago window. At street level, the broad expanses of glass allowed for larger displays of merchandise to outside pedestrian traffic, creating the idea of the sidewalk showcase. Sullivan designed the unique corner entry to be seen from both State and Madison. The attractive ornamentation above the entrance gave the store an elegant and unique persona important to the building's competition with neighboring stores, including Marshall Field's. It was designated a Chicago Landmark and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975.
Written 22 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Canadiancitylover
Boston, MA107 contributions
Apr 2019
As a native Chicagoan, this just makes me want to cry. This is the original home of Carson Pirie Scott, a terrifc department store (if you couldn't find something at Marshall Field's, you'd go to Carson's).
That said, if you're not from Chicago, and have no emotional ties to this building, it is worth seeing for the architectural features.
Written 11 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Steve Lewis
Lausanne, Switzerland945 contributions
Jun 2019 • Family
The building is rich in architecture. A metal skin covers most of the 2 first floor with complex representation

It is a very nice execution and demonstration of new style
Written 28 June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Annaline
Park Ridge, IL7,031 contributions
Dec 2018 • Solo
Retail building in use since the end of XIX century. Mostly occupied for more than a century by Scott Pierson but lately by Target. It is a Chicago Landmark since 1975.
Written 17 December 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Rumples
Tucson, AZ11,100 contributions
Sep 2017 • Solo
We stopped at this 1899 building during a Chicago Architecture Foundation walking tour, and, as an architecture buff, I was blown away by the structure's elaborate cast-iron ornamentation. It surrounds the large display windows of the lower two floors and is especially elegant at the entrance located at the corner of South State and East Madison streets. The design incorporates plant and geometric shapes in a delicate, precise pattern.

I took an even closer look at the work inside the entrance
before crossing the street for a better overall view of the effect. From there I could see how much the bottom levels differ from the rest of the 12 stories. The plain upper floors of the commercial building display a terra cotta facade with many windows made possible because of steel-frame construction.

For decades, the structure was known as the Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company Building, after the department store housed there for decades. It moved out in 2007 and now bears the name of the Sullivan Center, after the famous architect responsible for the building's original design. A City Target currently occupies the first two floors.
Written 17 September 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Feenixwest
Fort Collins, CO1,477 contributions
Sep 2017 • Solo
One has to stand diagonally across the street to get the full scope of this building that seems to have been built in three or four sections. One can only tell the sections by the changing rooflines. Then step up close to the custom-made grillwork that wraps the building on the first two levels. It's intrigue and beguiling. While Carson, Pirie and Scott have moved out, Target has done a decent job in respecting this fine building.
Written 6 September 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Reasonable50
Greenwich, Connecticut3,878 contributions
Aug 2017 • Solo
It is an impressive piece of iron work. Really impressive. And, I could not help but go inside and check out the second floor. Which led to a purchase...well done Target ; ).
Written 14 August 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

MaryinChicago
Chicago, IL213 contributions
Sep 2016 • Solo
I wish I could personally thank Louis Sullivan for the exquisite beauty of his Sullivan Center building entrance. The lovely organic pattern of the cast iron decoration is truly remarkable. (Of course, the whole building is a wonderful structure to view.) If your time in Chicago is limited, please consider walking by the building's entrance and stopping for a few minutes to view it.
Written 13 March 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Diane K
Venice, FL3,692 contributions
Sep 2016 • Couples
The building was designed by Louis Sullivan over a year ago. It is also known in Chicago as the Sullivan Center. Today it is occupied by Target. There are many architectural details to enjoy. This week we took the Chicago Architectural Foundation tour of the building. It was interesting to learn the history of the building - and its multiple additions. I especially like the top of the columns within the store.
Written 17 September 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Annaline
Park Ridge, IL7,031 contributions
Oct 2015 • Solo
I love this intricate cast iron ornamental work. There used to be a department store Bon-Ton but now we have here Target. Also on the entire 3rd floor is office of Gensler (design firm).

Widely known as the Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company Building this building is called now the Sullivan Center. It was designed by Louis Sullivan (1856 – 1924) an American architect, called the "father of skyscrapers" and "father of modernism". He was a mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright, and an inspiration to many other Chicago architects.

The building has remarkable steel-framed structure, which allowed a dramatic increase in window area created by bay-wide windows, (allowed for the greatest amount of daylight into the building interiors and provided larger displays of merchandise to outside pedestrian traffic). The lavish Bronze-plated cast-iron ornamental work above the rounded tower was also meant to be functional. The use of bronze and terra cotta was important to setting the building apart from others around because it was essentially fire resistant.
Written 18 October 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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