September 1, 2023 - The Meadow at The Old Chicago Post Office has been named an Honor Award winner by The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) as part of their annual Professional Awards. We're honored to be part of an iconic building's story – and its future. We hope that this project will serve as an inspiration for years to come for city officials, real estate developers, historical organizations, landscape architects and other designers as to how we can reinvigorate largely obsolete structures for future use.

Hoerr Schaudt will accept this award during the ASLA 2023 Conference in Minneapolis, MN, October 27-30. We look forward to celebrating amongst a talented group of fellow award recipients!

See more about the winning project here.

Dave Burk Old Post Office 037
Old Post Office 027

Project Overview

The success story of The Old Chicago Post Office illustrates the transformative impact that comes with repositioning obsolete structures. What was once a vacant industrial warehouse is now a modern-day office with best-in-class amenities for today's workforce. Leveraging the building’s vast roof area as an asset, the Meadow has become one of the nation’s largest private rooftop gardens, enabling the space to become a park unto itself.

Tenants actively and passively use the space daily to connect with nature amidst an urban backdrop. Weddings, conferences, and community events are hosted atop the building year-round. Designed with sustainability in mind, the rooftop uses innovative soil mixes, stormwater filtration, bee colonies, and more than 40,000 plants to provide a formerly desolate urban area with 3.5 acres of new, richly planted green space.

Sw1 2 copy


Dave Burk Old Post Office 030


Site Plan

The design for this urban oasis connects people with nature in an ever evolving meadow landscape. A colorful tapestry of garden rooms and recreation spaces create an environment that bolsters the transformation and responds to the historic character of the building.

Old Chicago Post Office2

Design Approach / Art Deco Style

The rooftop renovation did not allow for major structural reinforcement, directing circulation patterns to align with the structural grid of the building. The design embraced this constraint with strong geometric patterns to echo the building’s Art Deco heritage.

Old Chicago Post Office3

Urban Open Space Need

The Meadow at the Old Post Office fills a much-needed void for green space in the surrounding dense urban environment. With an eventual population of over 10,000 tenants, the building is the size of many small communities, and the richly planted rooftop operates as the primary park space for the newly created neighborhood.

Old Chicago Post Office4


The plantings are organized around four perennial plant palettes: pink-red, blue-purple, yellow-white, and green. Bloom times were carefully choreographed to provide seasonal interest throughout spring, summer and fall, and the grasses provide structure to the winter landscape.

Old Chicago Post Office5

High Performance Landscape

The Meadow functions as a verdant catalyst incorporating sustainable attributes across one of the largest rooftop environments in the country

Old Chicago Post Office6

Roof Loading Capacity & Innovative Green Roof Soil Solutions

Structural limitations significantly reduced the amount of weight permitted on the roof. The designers collaborated with specialty soil suppliers to engineer an ultra-lightweight soil that provided six inches of growing depth while having the weight of four inches of typical green roof soil media.

Old Chicago Post Office7

Pollinator Garden and Habitat Value

The rooftop is home to a variety of pollinators including birds, grasshoppers, and bees. The three colonies of bees operate as pollinators for the garden and supply downstairs restaurants and local food banks with honey.

Old Chicago Post Office10

Human Connections in Nature

The Old Post Office rooftop operates as a diverse, human focused space woven into an ever-changing, biophilic landscape. The environment provides an array of active and passive activities that are enhanced through meaningful contact with nature. This unique urban landscape serves not only the 10,000 tenants that will inhabit the building but, has also become one of the City’s most popular venues for weddings, conferences, and large events.

Old Chicago Post Office13

A Model for Future Historic Building Repositioning

Overcoming historic preservation and structural constraints, the success story of The Meadow will continue to inspire city officials, real estate developers, historical organizations, landscape architects and other designers as to how we can reposition and reinvigorate largely obsolete structures for future use.

See more from Hoerr Schaudt's award-winning submittal here.

Old Post Office 044

Project Team:

  • The 601W Companies – Owner and Project Developer
  • Gensler – Architect
  • JLL – Building Operator and Property Management
  • Columbia Green Technologies – Soil Supplier
  • WSP – Structural Engineer
  • The Telos Group – Leasing Agent
  • MacRostie Historic Advisors – Historic Preservation Advisor
  • Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates – MEP and Waterproofing
  • BEAR Construction Company – General Contractor
  • FRS Design Group – Irrigation Design
  • Christy Webber Landscapes – Landscape Contractor
  • Midwest Trading - Horticultural Supplies & Products
  • Midwest Groundcovers - Plant Nursery
Old Chicago Post Office15
To Top