Architect/Firm: Solomon Cordwell Buenz & Associates, 2009
The 72-story, sleek glass skyscraper, which reflects the sky, rises from the heart of a block of historic, low-rise buildings. Literally plugged into its Jeweler's Row Historic District neighbors by foundational supports, the unimposing residential tower even preserves the historic masonry and terra cotta facades along Wabash Ave to interact seamlessly with its landmark community at street level. It shares space with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, connects tenants to the century-old University Club via a sky-bridge, and its narrow design maximizes views of Lake Michigan and Millennium Park.
Karp loves it because: "There's a lot of new, sleek glass and steel skyscrapers in the Loop, but I think this is my favorite contemporary skyscraper of all the new ones. It has an interesting design that references other buildings in the city and it looks really stunning from Grant Park. One of Solomon Cordwell Buenz's calling cards, especially in the firm's earlier years, were a lot of buildings with rounded corners and curves, and this building is the exact opposite of that. It's very angular and straight, so I think it's kind of fun that they mixed up their normal formula for that building. The Legacy will be a cool building for years down the road. Unlike some of the other newer skyscrapers, it won't look like the product of the year it was built."