Helmut Jahn

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* Whatever you might say about the Thompson Center, we were all very fortunate to have this man in our state. WBEZ

World famous Chicago-based architect Helmut Jahn died in Campton Hills in a biking accident, authorities confirmed.

In a news release, Campton Hills police say Jahn failed to stop at a stop sign at Burlington and Old LaFox Road in the far west suburbs, and was struck by two vehicles Saturday afternoon. One driver was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the second vehicle was not injured.

Jahn, who lived in St. Charles, was 81.

The German-born architect is most well-known in Chicago for designing at age 39 the James R. Thompson Center, a postmodern building that wowed the architectural scene upon its opening in 1985 but has become a drain on the state for its much-needed costly repairs. Illinois is in the process of selling the building.

* Daily Herald

Campton Hills police said Jahn, who kept a farm in St. Charles, was riding near Burlington and Old La Fox roads Saturday afternoon when he was struck by two vehicles. He was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.

A native of Germany, Jahn won international recognition and awards for projects around the globe, including United Airlines Terminal 1 at O’Hare International Airport, the former Citigroup Center (the main entrance to the Richard B. Ogilvie Transportation Center) in Chicago, and the Sony Center in Berlin.

Besides MetroWest in Naperville, his suburban work includes the Oakbrook Terrace Tower in Oakbrook Terrace.

“Helmut was bold, audacious, daring, dashing, a kind of star architect before the term was even coined,” said Blair Kamin, former architecture critic for the Chicago Tribune.

Tribune

The Thompson Center, built in 1985 and originally called the State of Illinois Center, later was renamed for former Republican Gov. James Thompson Jr., also known as “Big Jim” Thompson.

Jahn once said the building made his reputation around the world and killed it in Chicago. […]

He went on to design such other high-profile projects as the sleek Xerox Center, now known as 55 West Monroe; the art deco revival addition to the Chicago Board of Trade, 141 W. Jackson Blvd.; and the romantically modern United Airlines Terminal 1 at O’Hare International Airport.

Jahn was also behind the Sony Center in Berlin, One Liberty Place in Philadelphia and the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok. In 2016, he designed a 74-floor residential tower, 1000M, 1000 S. Michigan Ave., that had been expected to be complete in 2022 before construction stopped as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

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