Client: True North Studios
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Status: Ongoing (Design Development)
Size: 9,800 sf
+ Project Architect, Preservation Specialist
+ Condition assessment, inspection, and analysis
+ Internal design team coordination
+ Historic Tax Credit administration
+ Chicago Preservation Commission review coordination
+ Space planning and design development
+ Direct client engagement
+ Design presentations
+ Consultant design coordination
(*completed while employed at RATIO)
The Schillo Motor Sales Company Showroom was designed by Chicago architecture firm Mundie and Jensen and built for Edwin and Albert Schillo. The showroom exterior featured richly ornamented terra cotta and an embellished cast-iron entrance. It was highlighted in a 1922 Motor Age Magazine advertisement for the National Terra Cotta Society with a quote from Edwin Schillo describing the building as “one of the most attractive on Michigan Avenue”.
The building resides within the Motor Row Historic District in Chicago's Near South Side/South Loop neighborhood and is a contributing resource to the District. The District was established and developed between the 1900s-1930s, and is considered to be the largest intact early motor colony in the United States. The building has remained vacant and in poor condition for at least the past quarter-century.
In 2019, RATIO was engaged by True North Studios to assist with rehabilitating the building and adapting it for use as a restaurant and bar. As Project Director and Preservation Specialist, I was responsible for organizing and directing the internal project team, documenting and assessing the existing building, providing design direction and input, engaging and coordination consultants, organizing and leading design presentations, and developing design documents for pricing. I was also responsible for Historic Tax Credit administration and engaging the IL-SHPO staff for design review.