Skip to Main Content
Accountability. Efficiency. Service.

Breadcrumb

  1. CMS
  2. About CMS
  3. James R. Thompson Center
  4. Building Information

Building Information 

 

A one-of-a-kind facility.

  • unique and impressive
  • adaptable
  • conveniently located

The James R. Thompson Center in Chicago's North Loop is emphatically all of these. It turns special events into extraordinary affairs in a building people talk about long after the event is over.

Dedicated in May of 1985, the Center is one of Chicago's major attractions, drawing worldwide attention and more than two million visitors a year. It is a multipurpose government building that combines state agencies and offices with a commercial area of shops and restaurants. This unique building also features a State of Illinois Gallery, Illinois Artisans Shop, and one of the largest collections of contemporary Illinois artworks.

With Chicago as the nation's transportation hub, the Center is only a non-stop flight from almost anywhere in the United States or Canada and connects to a subway service directly from O'Hare International Airport to the Center's lower level. In addition, superb ground level transportation -from trains and buses to cabs - makes arrival at the Center convenient.

Spectacular View

The views are mesmerizing from every vantage point, from the inside as well as the outside, starting with the spacious ground floor Atrium lobby that towers to a spectacular angled skylight. Adding dynamic movement to the lobby are the soaring 16-story exposed elevator banks with their lighted glass cubicles.

Its stunning architectural ambiance is a major reason event planners select the Center. According to the jury that awarded the 1986 Distinguished Building Award of the Chicago Chapter, American Institute of Architects, to Designer Helmut Jahn, the Center is ". . . the Pantheon of Chicago ... a building that makes a strong, powerful, and important statement ... and breaks new ground."

Premier Place for Events

The James R. Thompson Center's North Loop location - at the corner of Clark and Randolph - places it near the major Chicago hotels, the Merchandise Mart, Apparel Center, and the financial district. It is convenient to expressways, parking (accommodations for 2,100 cars within a half block), and all of Chicago's rapid-transit systems.

The James R. Thompson Center fulfills the promise that it would be alive with events which bring activity and excitement to downtown Chicago.

Visible through the 72 foot diameter open cut out of the lobby is the 4,000 square foot lower Concourse level, and its marble rosette center - ideal for entertainment during a sit-down dinner, a perfect setting for receptions, and a great dance floor.

A variety of catering options are available ranging from cocktail receptions and simple buffets, to elegant dinners featuring Chicago's world-renowned cuisine.

Showcase for Special Events

The James R. Thompson Center's 7,500 square foot Assembly Hall, which seats 600, is attractive, modern, and versatile. It is the perfect setting for conferences, performances, weddings, and other events.

The 24-by-48-foot semicircle stage is complemented by comfortable seating which surrounds the stage. Tiered seating and the projecting stage give everyone unobstructed views.

The Assembly Hall has a 12-by-16 foot screen and a projection room equipped with 35mm high intensity slide projector, overhead video projection, reel-to-reel tape player, and stage lighting.

The Assembly Hall also offers a coat checkroom, changing room for stage performers, and private restrooms. The space is ideal for concerts, theatrical productions, lectures, and meetings.