Late last Summer, 400 feet of Randolph Street was shut down from State to Wabash to make way for the largest crane lift ever to take place in The Loop. The 48–hour marathon was a series of sprints to hoist innovative new mechanical equipment to the fourteen-story roof of the Historic Marshall Field & Co. Building.
Now known as Macy’s Flagship, the architectural marvel is a part of a surge in downtown department-to-office space conversions. The same digital companies that contributed to the demise of large–scale department stores are signing up in droves for white-walled offices in once-retail palaces.
The 350,000 square foot renovation is led by General Contractor, Clayco, on behalf of development firm, Brookfield Properties. Since its initial construction in 1892, the facility has undergone several over-hauls. New tenants to the top 7 floors will be accommodated by enhanced aesthetics, top-speed elevators, and modern amenities.
Atomatic Mechanical Service’s Greg Bizariak, Director of Project Management, and Dan Merz, Vice President, were tasked to breathe new life into the massive structure with a new source of heating, ventilation, air- conditioning, and cooling.
The HVAC system was designed around the two colossal constraints.
First, the installation schedule. All materials were required to land on the roof in a single downtown mobilization, during the pedestrian peak of Summer.
Second, feasibility. La Grange Crane worked in tandem with the Atomatic Team to conjure a lift plan that delicately balanced the crane location with maximum reach consideration in correlation to capacity restrictions.
On lift day, Randolph Street was overrun by a choir of two dozen essential workers orchestrating the coming-and-going of 67 crane picks. La Grange Crane accepted, stored, and delivered the oversize boiler rooms and ERVs to the 550 Ton Crane with Mega Wing and 240’ of luffing Jib.
For a job that came down to inches in more ways than one, every contractor came together under the Macy’s flag to complete the weekend safely with not so much as a scratch.
As the Chicago Construction Community restores itself to former glory, we stand united, together, marveled by the past – excited for the future.