The James R. Thompson Center on May 6, 2024. (WTTW News)

Elected officials and developers gathered at the Thompson Center on Monday to help mark the start of Google’s $280 million makeover of the former state government building.

New rendering of the planned changes to the Thompson Center, December 2023. (Courtesy of Google)

Google intends to bring the Thompson Center’s design into the 21st century “while maintaining its iconic form,” the company said.

Security footage released by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service captured burglary suspects entering the office at 100 W. Randolph St. in Chicago on May 22, 2023. (Credit: U.S. Postal Inspection Service)

The Chicago Police Department said Monday it was searching for approximately 18 males who are believed to have attempted to break into the office.

The James R. Thompson Center is pictured on July 12, 2022. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

Some members of Chicago’s tech and business communities say Google’s expansion into the Thompson Center shows the city’s potential to grow into a bigger tech hub.

The James R. Thompson Center is pictured on July 12, 2022. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

Google’s announcement that it would take the Helmut Jahn-designed structure off the state of Illinois’ hands caps a years-long effort to figure out what to do with 1.2-million-square-foot building at Randolph and LaSalle streets with its distinctive red-and-blue accented steel frame.

The James R. Thompson Building, designed by architect Helmut Jahn. (WTTW News)

Late last week, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a deal to sell the love-it-or-hate it state building downtown to the Prime Group for $70 million. The development firm plans to overhaul the Helmut Jahn-designed structure rather than demolish it and start anew, as others had proposed.

A water park is among the finalists in a competition to repurpose the Thompson Center. (Courtesy of the Chicago Architecture Center and the Chicago Architectural Club)

There’s nothing bashful or traditional about the Thompson Center, so it should come as no surprise that finalists’ designs in a competition to reimagine the building include a proposal for an indoor water park. Here’s a look at each of the designs.

The James R. Thompson Building, designed by architect Helmut Jahn. (WTTW News)

The measure unanimously advanced by aldermen Tuesday would pave the way for the sale of the much beloved and equally loathed James R. Thompson Center in the heart of the Loop.

In this Wednesday, July 15, 1998 file photo, architect Helmut Jahn tours a construction site in Berlin. (AP Photos / Jockel Finck)

Helmut Jahn, a prominent German architect who designed an Illinois state government building and worked on the design of the FBI headquarters in Washington, was killed when two vehicles struck the bicycle he was riding outside Chicago.

The Roseland Michigan Avenue Commercial District is on Preservation Chicago’s 2020 “7 Most Endangered” list. (Eric Allix Rogers / Preservation Chicago)

The preservation organization has released its annual list of “most endangered” historic places for 2020. The Thompson Center and Jackson Park are both making their fourth appearance, which is either a good or bad sign.

Jonathon Solomon, left, of the James R. Thompson Center Historical Society introduces his group at the start of their public tour. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

The state says the building is too expensive to maintain and repair, but architectural activists are determined to highlight its unique features and its role in the city’s past, present and future.

(Ken Lund / Flickr)

The 17-story, curved-glass structure opened in May 1985 to house state offices. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a measure in April authorizing the sale of the building, which has been hailed for its architecture but derided for its functionality. 

(Ken Lund / Flickr)

The James R. Thompson Center has been controversial since it landed in the Loop in 1985. Now, a new layer of controversy has been added to the building’s history: its potential sale.

“It’s a difficult day for us, but we will get through it,” an emotional Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Tuesday following the shooting death of 18th District Commander Paul Bauer.

Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno and House Minority Leader Jim Durkin filed legislation that would direct future property tax receipts from a possible Thompson Center redevelopment to Chicago Public Schools. (Ken Lund / Flickr)

Gov. Bruce Rauner says property taxes generated from the sale of the James R. Thompson Center could top $45 million per year, and Republican-backed legislation introduced Friday would send every one of those dollars to Chicago Public Schools.

(Ken Lund / Flickr)

What does the future hold for Helmut Jahn’s 16-story Loop office building?