CHICAGO — The Governor’s office moved out of the James R. Thompson Center Friday, as many staffers emptying the 16th floor say they are happy to move on.
Since 1985, the postmodern Thompson Center has loomed above Clark Street like a giant greenhouse. Inside, even tourists are saying what state employees have said for decades: the building needs a major update.
“We were just talking about how kind of creepy it feels inside actually,” Korina Martin, a tourist from Boston said.
For the Governor’s Chief of Staff, it feels like a building lost in time.
“If you could picture you grandparent’s rec room like circa 1975 where nothing has been changed or updated. It’s too hot in the summertime, it’s too cold in the wintertime,” Anne Caprara said.
The 16th floor is not without its quirks, finding signs of every gubernatorial administration to call the Thompson Center home.
Staffers paid homage to the weird and embarrassing of the floor, including garbage cans to collect water from the ceiling, doors without handles and a warning to not use the toaster and microwave at the same time, because a fuse was likely to blow.
The new office at 555 West Monroe Street has working lights, which is cause for celebration.
The Thompson Center is being sold to a local developer who plans to pour $280 million into a renovation. Each year, it costs approximately $17 million to keep the lights on.