A Peek Inside Marina City: Photo Tour of a Chicago Landmark
Whether you know Marina City as the the buildings from the Wilco album cover, the ‘Corn Cobs’ or actually remember when the historic towers were built by Bertrand Goldberg in the 60s to help slow the flood of people moving to the suburbs, you are surely curious what the inside of these iconic round buildings looks like.
Yes, the hallways are round, which is great for us because you really can’t choose the wrong direction. Consequently, the units are pie shaped, though the layout, with closets, bathroom and the kitchen towards the center of the building make it barely noticeable.
One and two bedroom units have large walk-in closets that occupy much of their narrowest space.
The Marina City complex consist of two residential towers, a lower commercial level which includes Marina Cleaners and North Loop Market, Hotel Chicago, the House of Blues performance venue and multiple restaurants. The residential towers, though originally built as apartments, now contain 896 individually owned condo units. There are 256 studio units (500 square feet), 576 one bedroom units (725 square feet) and 64 two bedroom units (1225 square feet). Two Bedroom units are located only on floor 53 and above.
Kitchens in the building originally came in 4 colors: yellow, brown, pink and white. Many of the original steel GE cabinets and quite a few of the original stoves are still in units. These steel cabinets were very popular during the 60s and are also in many of the buildings built on north Lake Shore Drive from the same era. The kitchens originally came equipped with a built-in cutting board which you can see in the yellow kitchen below.
The original kitchens have a small can light on the wall and under cabinet lighting.
Original one bedroom units had a small built in table in the kitchen.
Original two bedroom units had a separate GE cooktop stove and oven; below is an original cooktop.
Since 1977, each unit in Marina City has been individually owned. As such,the finishes in the units vary greatly. Many owners will add a peek through in the kitchen wall or open up the kitchen completely. This owner choose to cut a more organic opening in the kichen wall of a studio unit to add a breakfast bar.
During the remodel of this one bedroom unit, a small square cut out was added in the kitchen wall to allow more natural light into the kitchen. In this photo you can also see the structural beam that is visible in all units.
Instead of opening the kitchen up to the living room some owners choose to remove the side wall of the kitchen instead.
Many renters and buyers are looking for open concept, so many remodels open up the kitchen completely. This one bedroom remodel also took out the bedroom wall, giving it more of a studio feel.
Two bedroom units originally had galley kitchens. This owner chose to open the kitchen up towards the living room.
This studio unit was completely opened up with a remodel, offering the tenant modern living in a vintage landmark.
The original bathrooms included colorful mosaic tiles of green, blue or yellow.
Though this bathroom has been updated, it still retains its original form of having a separate dressing and bathing area.
When remodeling, many owners choose to combine the original dressing room with the bath area to open the bathroom up.
Marina City bedrooms have no closets. The closets were placed in the bathrooms, with additional hall closets.
The construction of the building is made apparent in the bedroom where you can see one of the main structural beams.
Marina City units have floor to ceiling windows which allow residents to feel they are part of the city itself.
Each unit in Marina City has at least one private balcony. One bedroom units have one and a half balconies and two bedroom units have two and a half balconies. The balconies are each 180 sq feet and allow enough space for outdoor entertaining with a view!