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to try to find a new tenant, without success. By 2011, Wrigley, itself, had been swallowed up by candy-maker Mars, Incorporated, which promptly began moving all of the Wrigley employees out of the namesake Michigan Avenue landmark that had been both the company's home and a gleaming trademark ever since its construction in 1921. Finally, as reported byAlby Gallun in Crain's Chicago Business, both the Lake Shore Athletic Club structure and the its larger, full-block site were thrown in as sweetener to a $33 million deal that saw BDT Capital Partners LLC acquiring the historic but emptying Wrigley Building. With the right development, that sweetener could prove more valuable than the Wrigley Building itself.
While there's still some of it left to see, let's take a moment to appreciate the qualities the Downtown Court Club building brought to the urban fabric. Brawny and overbearing at the same time, its scored facades, framed within borders that clearly expressed the structure within, were like a Claes Oldenberg-scaled homage to aluminum siding.
William Le Baron Jenney's Manhattan Building; it's a bit of early Post Modernist mannerism devoid of the usual neo-classical confusion; and it's an effective anchoring of the building's corner in a way that both clearly demarcates the entrance and provides a mitigating counterpoint to the crushing monotony all around it.