The Wainwright Building, designed in 1890 by Adler & Sullivan of Chicago, became a prototype of American skyscraper architecture and a historic landmark. It was the first high-rise office building in the country to employ a steel frame while preserving the look of a masonry building. Sullivan used intricate terra cotta ornamentation in vertical bands to emphasize the building’s height.
In 1974, the State of Missouri conducted a national competition to select an architect to restore and expand the building for service as a State Administrative Office Complex. Hastings+Chivetta Architects, in association with Mitchell/Giurgola Architects, was selected to design and implement the historic building project.
Upon its completion, Progressive Architecture wrote, “Now Wainwright’s queenly bearing and complexion are regained, and it is beginning its second lifetime as a working landmark.” Time Magazine selected the revitalized Wainwright Building project as one of the “five best architectural designs of the year.”