Friedman Properties has acquired Medinah Temple, a Chicago landmark located at 600 N. Wabash Avenue in the city’s River North neighborhood. Currently home to a Bloomingdale’s home goods store, Friedman will redevelop the property for the second time in 16 years.
The Chicago Tribune confirmed that the “Mayor of River North,” Al Friedman, bought the building for approximately $25 million. Luke Molloy, a senior vice president with CBRE, brokered the deal for Bloomingdale’s owner, Macy’s.
Built by the Shriners and designed by architects Huehl and Schmidt in 1912, the Moorish revival Medinah Temple is notable for its onion domes and beautiful stained glass windows. The building originally housed a 4,200-seat auditorium but became dilapidated following a period of vacancy. Through a unique partnership between Friedman Properties, the city of Chicago, the state of Illinois and Federated Department Stores, the building was saved from demolition in 2000.
The exterior of the building was restored and the interior redeveloped for use as retail space, re-opening in February of 2003 as the nation’s first Bloomingdale’s Home Store. The building’s key decorative elements—including the large central cornice and intricate balcony railings—were restored or recreated from original drawings. Plasterwork, proscenium arch and jewel-colored stained glass were preserved. The building’s two, 10,000 pound copper onion domes had to be constructed in the adjacent Tree Studios courtyard and craned onto the rooftop.
Friedman Properties owns and manages a number of properties in River North, including Tree Studios, the Reid Murdoch Building and Court House Place. It is unknown how the property will be positioned in anticipation of Bloomingdale’s departure next year.