March 6, 2024 - We're thrilled to share that The Meadow at The Old Chicago Post Office was featured in a recent article from Metropolis magazine. The article, titled Two Former USPS Facilities Now Have Massive Rooftop Gardens, explores how the Old Post Office and another adaptive reused USPS facility were created and spotlight each as a vital resource for urban areas.

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Article Highlight:

A Meadow In The Sky

Roofs on grand old buildings are going green across the country, with the 601W Companies redevelopment of Chicago’s enormous 1921 Graham, Anderson, Probst and White Old Post Office into offices also sprouting The Meadow, designed by Hoerr Schaudt. This 3.5-acre rooftop garden, the largest in Chicago, features space for leisure as well as two pickleball courts and a basketball court. 

This was another barren expanse dotted only by mechanical penthouses now turned green, in a planting scheme emphasizing diagonals. Hoerr Schaudt principal Rob Gray explains, “The grasses and the formal design of the rooftop are inspired by the deco motifs on the tall buildings surrounding the site with geometric abstractions of wheat and other grasses.”

The designers also dealt with load-bearing constraints, reinforcing the roof in a few locations to support the sporting courts and large gathering areas. This enabled a harmonious separation of types of activity, as Gray details, “organizing the space in a fashion that created separation between more active uses (areas with a higher concentration of activity and occupants) and passive uses (quieter, more nature-focused spaces).”

They were working with a relatively shallow draft, with a maximum depth of six inches of soil, limiting their plant palette to grasses, perennials, and bulbs. This might sound like a substantial constraint, yet the garden is anything but limited, with the roof featuring 41,000 plants of over 50 species. 

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The Old Chicago Post Office Meadow features a vibrant tapestry of garden rooms embraces over 40,000 plants, representing more than 50 unique species. Enhancing the landscape are a year-round heated pavilion, a bar, and a quarter-mile walking path. The park also features amenities like a basketball court, pickleball courts, and designated resting areas.


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