Chicago Landmarks

Daley Center

Steel facade     Address: 50 W. Washington St.
Year Built: 1965 1967 (Picasso sculpture)
Architect: C.F. Murphy Associates
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: November 6, 2002

Picasso sculpture The Daley Center (originally known as the Chicago Civic Center) is an exceptional example of International Style architecture, based on the revolutionary steel and glass skyscrapers of world-famous architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The building, Chicago's first major public building to be constructed in a modern rather than a classical architectural style, was designed by C. F. Murphy Associates whose work was influential in Chicago during the 1960s and 70s. Innovative for its time are the building's huge spans of steel framing, its exceptional spatial flexibility and the first-ever use of self-weathering Cor-Ten steel as an exterior "skin" for a skyscraper. The building's public spaces remain remarkably intact and are fine examples of International Style interior design. The building's large plaza is ornamented with a fountain and a monumental, enigmatic sculpture fashioned by Pablo Picasso, one of the most influential figures of twentieth century art. The Picasso, unveiled in 1967, is built of Cor-Ten steel similar to that used in the building.