Non-local ArcelorMittal steel raises up Chicago skyscraper

16 February 2016

ArcelorMittal is supplying steel to a prominent downtown Chicago skyscraper, though it's coming from Europe and not the multinational company's steel mill just 20 miles southeast.

The steel isn't coming from Northwest Indiana even though it's so close because ArcelorMittal Europe's Long Products Differdange mill in Luxembourg is the only mill that makes steel sections of the specifications needed for constructing the new 150 N. Riverside skyscraper on the south branch of the Chicago River.

The 54-story building, which is currently under construction at a prominent site at Lake and Randolph streets in the West Loop, will use 2,530 tons of ArcelorMittal steel.

The 732-foot-tall office building features some of the largest steel sections in the world, since it has a unique design where it appears to stand on one foot.

A steel cantilever holds up office floors 100 feet off the ground, which was necessary because the foundation is sandwiched in a narrow area between railroad tracks and the Chicago River. The unorthodox shape has attracted a lot of attention, including from guides on the architecture boat tours that pass by.

The building looks like a typical glassy skyscraper between floors 8 and 54, but the first seven stories are columns that support the rest of the building like a peg leg.

Riverside Investment & Development developed the skyscraper, which was designed by the architects Goettsch Partners and includes 1.2 million square feet of leaseable space.

"After discussing numerous options with our client and Clark Construction, ArcelorMittal's products were determined to offer the most cost-effective approach for the structural system designed by Magnusson Klemencic Associates for this unique building," said Robert Chmielowski with Magnusson Klemencic, which did the structural engineering for the project.  "The larger sections and high-strength material provided the only 'off-the-shelf' sections that could resist the large forces."

ArcelorMittal, which is based in Luxembourg, in one of Northwest Indiana's largest employers with around 10,000 employees. Northwest Indiana steel mills had provided much of the structural steel that built up the Chicago skyline during the 20th century, but they focus more on sheet metal today.


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