Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, dubbed the windy city, stands Arc at Old Colony. Originally called “Old Colony Building” when it was built between 1893-1894 was made to hold 300 to 600 offices and designed by architectural firm Holabird & Roche. They were greatly known to have built some of the first world’s skyscrapers and this was no different for Arc at Old Colony. Their firm introduced an entirely new system of construction for this building, which consists of four tiers of steel arches reaching from the basement to the roof with each arch extending from the floor to the ceiling making the structure impregnable.
The arches on the outside of the building are made of a material called Indiana Limestone, also known as Oolitic. It was built on every floor to prevent the building from falling over due to high wind pressure coming from the lakefront. Not only was the building highly designed to withhold wind but also Chicago’s second-biggest threat, fire. In most steel buildings the distance from the face of the wall, to the center of the steel column, are from twelve to fifteen inches; in Arc at Old Colony’s structure, it was built to measures twenty-four inches, giving twice the protection against fire and heat.
As a Chicago landmark building, there are some features that were left original during renovations such as the Tiffany and Company design mosaic flooring, ironwork, white marble, and oak woodwork. There are five floors throughout the building that continue to utilize the original office doors as apartment entry doors. The most notable historic feature in the building is the paint finish that resembles marble called Scagliola that you can see in the lobby and the library.
In 2015, the Arc at Old Colony was converted to apartment units, transforming the once 600 office building to what is now a modern luxury student housing that stands 215 feet tall with completed 137 units and houses 472 students comfortably. Arc at Old Colony is the oldest property in the CA Ventures Student Living Portfolio and will continue to provide a historic ambiance to its current and future residents.