Metropolis (8 West Monroe Street)

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Chicago, IL

Metropolis (8 West Monroe Street)

Exterior of Metropolis
Building Information
Developer Warman Development and Design
Architect Holabird & Roche
Number of Units 169
Number of Floors 21
Year Built 1912
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof IRMA
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Chicago, IL
Distance to Public Transit Less than one block
Region Chicago
Municipality Chicago
Zoning DX 16
Title of Land Condominium



Located directly in the heart of The Loop, quite arguably the most prime location of downtown Chicago, Metropolis is a condominium building of rich history. Dating back to its original build as an office tower in 1912 when it was known as the North American Building, Metropolis was born during its conversion in 2006 when it was transformed to loft-style residences. The original build was 19 story high, and during the conversion the building was brought up to 21 storeys to offer 169 residences.

Exterior of Metropolis looking up

The Metropolis residences held onto its retail space in the grade level of the building, which includes a Verizon Wireless, a T Mobile, and a Blick Art Supplies store. The residences now offered at the building include high ceilings and between one to two bedroom floor plans.

The area where Metropolis is found, The Loop - also referred to as The Chicago Loop - is the area of the historical center of downtown Chicago. The term refers to the area bounded by a public transit circuit that runs along Lake Street, Wabash Avenue, Van Buren Street, and Well Street. In general, it refers to the whole central business district of Chicago. The term "Loop" comes explicitly from the circuit formed by 'L' train tracks, and a preceding 1880s streetcar loop.[1]


Convenient is the perfect way to describe the location of the Metropolis lofts at the corner of Monroe and State in Chicago's central business district, The Loop.

The Metra subway station is at its doorstep, located also at the corner of Monroe and State Streets. Other bus route options are also located within half-a-block of Metropolis. The famous shopping area of Michigan Avenue is just minutes north, and many department stores and high-end boutiques line State Street.

Millennium Park and Grant Park are just a few blocks east of Metropolis, where a variety of concerts, festivals and variety of events take place throughout the year.

The Art Institute is less than 10 minutes south, and other cultural venues like the Lyric Opera, Goodman Theater and Symphony Center are also within walking distance. Restaurants, bars, coffee houses, grocery stores, and schools are all within walking distance, and Metropolis is scored as a clean 100 when it comes to travel on foot.[2]


Looking back at its historical construction, the original build of the North American Building was of a steel structure and a white colored terracotta façade of applied masonry. Its original cost for construction was $1.5 million, and it took one year to complete, from 1911 to 1912. As an original 19 storey building, a 2 storey penthouse level was added during its conversion; Metropolis now stands at 21 storeys or 89.92 meters high.

During its conversion to become the Metropolis residences in 2006, the building underwent extensive renovations. Warman Development and Design took over the project at a cost of $28 million. The company chose to hold onto the historic, fine details of the building that exuded superior craftsmanship, like the exterior terracotta detail and classic brick construction.[3]

Layout and Features

Metropolis residences offer 169 residences ranging in size from one to two bedroom floor plans. The largest floor plan in the building is a two bedroom, two bathroom corner unit suite of 1300 square feet.

Features of the residences include over sized 12 foot ceilings, in-unit washers and dryers in every unit, ample closet space, five inch plank hardwood floors, granite counter tops, and stainless steel appliances. Views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline are accessible from virtually every room, with large windows in each of the floor plans.

Amenities offered at the Metropolis include a fitness center, a common sundeck, a large party room, and a 24 hour doorman.

There is an underground garage for parking. Parking is not included but can be purchased for $25,000 per spot. [4]

Floor Plans

11 floor plans are available. Here is a quick overview.


Amenities included at Metropolis residences include:

  • Fitness Center
  • Rooftop Deck
  • 24 Hour Doorman


Metropolis (8 West Monroe Street) Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No
Barbecues Yes

Metropolis is a pet-friendly building with number and weight limitations.

Rentals are allowed.

There are no age restrictions on ownership.


During its conversion in 2006, sustainable measures were taken to install energy efficient lighting and appliances throughout the residences at Metropolis.

The most sustainable aspect, however, remains in that of its location, which offers extreme accessibility to daily amenities and luxuries.

The public transportation in the area is nearly the best it can get, with the Metra station just at the doorstep, among many other bus stations and routes.


North American Building

Although the Metropolis is now a loft-style residential building, most people in the area do not forget its history as the North American Building.

In December of 1910, The Chicago Tribune published an article announcing that the old North American Building on the corner of State and Monroe Streets, was going to be replaced by a taller more modern building. State Street was becoming retail focused, and being such, the new development had planned to have a retail level at its base. Potter Palmer, a businessman who was responsible for much of the development on State Street, was the main reason for the city's retail shift from Lake Street to State Street. The orientation of the North American Building was constructed with its front towards State Street, giving it an address of 36 South State Street.

Developers Stumer, Rosenthal and Eckstein hired Holabird & Roche for the North American Building project. During this time development was buzzing, and other projects like the Otis at La Salle and Madison Street and the Monroe on Michigan Avenue were underway.

The North American Building was a success. It sat on a prominent base with street level retail space. Elaborate Gothic Revival details on the exterior terracotta were visible. Although no longer in place at the Metropolis residences, the original design included a beautiful marble lined staircase centered on the ground floor corner at State & Monroe which led to a restaurant below.[5]


  1. Highrises
  2. Walk Score
  3. See Chicago Real Estate
  4. Chicago Condo
  5. Design Slinger

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