City Winery in Chicago’s West Loop started out in 1920 as a refrigerated food distribution warehouse. In 2011, the 28,000-square-foot masonry building was transformed into a concert hall plus winery and restaurant. During the renovation, the western portion of the building was opened up and enclosed by glass instead of brick. This spacious, sunny lobby looks out onto a patio, where patrons can wine and dine in good weather. The venue opened in 2012.
Major Players: Christopher Warnick Architecture, Philip Katz-Project Development (PKPD), Summit Design + Build
Green Upgrade Details
The building redesign incorporated a variety of materials reclaimed from the original food warehouse. For example, salvaged oak beams became tables and stairs, old floorboards were recycled into wall trim, and terra cotta tiles from the façade were reused for the patio border. Also, in keeping with the winery theme, wine bottles, barrels, and corks were converted into decorative walls, barriers, and sound baffles. Even the banquet room walls are made from stacks of wine barrels.
The lobby’s glass walls allow in abundant light during the day, yet they are double-insulated and therefore shield the interior from temperature extremes.
In June 2019, the City Winery appointed a new Head Winemaker. Her former career? Architect.