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James R. Thompson Center


This enthralling building is a world-wide attraction that features an art gallery, artisans shop, three floors of restaurants and shops, and 13 floors of balconies that surround the 160 foot rotunda. "Wait until you see it... It is no less than breathtaking," wrote the Chicago Tribune's Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic Paul Gapp about the James R.Thompson Center. Spectacular views abound from any vantage point, including the 72-foot diameter open cutout of the lobby which shows the 4,000 square foot lower Concourse level with its marble rosette center. Glass elevator shafts, glass-paneled walls and ceiling, and marble-inlay floors make this an ideal setting for impressive entertaining, elegant sit-down dinners, and perfect dance receptions. The building is one of Chicago's most popular sites for fundraisers, concerts, and other special events.

James Thomson Center

The center can accommodate from 200 to 2000 people for cocktail receptions, dinner dances, or product displays. If your needs include a facility for stage presentation, our 600-seat Assembly Hall Auditorium is just the place.

Opportunely located were near hotels, convention facilities, mass transit, expressways, and public parking, this extraordinary architectural setting offers your group - whether it be corporate or very private - it will be a memorable experience.

A one-of-a-kind facility. Which is unique and conveniently located.The James R. Thompson Center in Chicago's North Loop is turns special events into extraordinary affairs in a building people talk about long after the event is over.

Devoted in May of 1985, the Center is one of Chicago's major attractions, drawing worldwide attention and more than two million visitors a year. It is a multipurpose government building that combines state agencies and offices with a commercial area of shops and restaurants. This unique building also features a State of Illinois Gallery, Illinois Artisans Shop, and one of the largest collections of contemporary Illinois artworks.


While Chicago as the nation's transportation hub, the Center is only a non-stop flight from almost anywhere in the United States or Canada and connects to a subway service directly from O'Hare International Airport to the Center's lower level. In addition, superb ground level transportation -from trains and buses to cabs - makes arrival at the Center convenient./ The views are mesmerizing from every vantage point, both inside and outside, starting with the spacious ground floor Atrium lobby that towers to a spectacular angled skylight. Adding dynamic movement to the lobby are the soaring 16-story exposed elevator banks with their lighted glass cubicles.

The center's stunning architectural ambiance is a major reason event planners select the Center. According to the jury that awarded the 1986 Distinguished Building Award of the Chicago Chapter, American Institute of Architects, to Designer Helmut Jahn, the Center is ". . . the Pantheon of Chicago ... a building that makes a strong, powerful, and important statement ... and breaks new ground."It is convenient to expressways, parking (accommodations for 2,100 cars within a half block), and all of Chicago's rapid-transit systems.

The Center fulfills the promise that it would be alive with events which bring activity and excitement to downtown Chicago. Visible through the 72 foot diameter open cut out of the lobby is the 4,000 square foot lower Concourse level, and its marble rosette center - ideal for entertainment during a sit-down dinner, a perfect setting for receptions, and a great dance floor.