The Delaware Building, designed by Wheelock and Thomas and erected in 1872 shortly after the Great Chicago Fire, underwent significant modifications in 1889 and again in 1893. The lower floors originally boasted a cast iron and glass facade, while the upper floors featured precast concrete "cast stone" on a brick-bearing wall. Decorative pressed zinc sheets were added to the top two floors at a later time.
HPZS played a vital role for the restoration of the building's exterior and as a consultant for the restoration of the interior atrium. Our team conducted a thorough investigation into materials conservation, stripping the building of paint and testing various stabilization methods and treatments. To accurately reproduce the missing iron storefront and zinc cornice, historic photographs, original drawings, and written accounts were researched and documented.
Following this research, the iron storefront was recast, the zinc cornice reproduced in fiberglass, and the cast stone patched and repaired, after which the facade was painted in its original colors. The interior work included the restoration of the atrium, including the repair and restoration of the cast iron and glass block floor and the cleaning and painting of the rest of the atrium. The Delaware Building received the 1983 Award for Superior Achievement and Professional Excellence from the Society of American Registered Architects.