“Access to daylight, outdoor air, and contact with nature is no longer an option, it’s an expectation,” she said. “The rooftop park is designed to offer tenants choice in spaces to meet, exercise, entertain or to simply relax and enjoy our iconic Chicago skyline in a verdant setting.”
Among the features the rooftop terrace boasts are a full basketball court, native plantings, a bistro and bar area, a running/walking track, and a lounge area complete with a row of Organic Swings. The one-of-a-kind modular swings marry the classic appeal of a traditional porch swing with the contemporary style befitting of the modern greenspace.
“There is no other space like The Meadow in Chicago or even in the rest of the United States,” Brian Whiting, CEO and president of The Telos Group, LLC, a real estate firm that leases the building space, told Rejournals. “The space speaks for itself. We’ve created an urban oasis that complements the unrivaled tenant amenity package that The Old Post Office offers.”
The Meadow is comprised of six acres of rooftop space, including the 3.5-acres of amenity space with 22,000 square feet of concrete pavers, 288 truckloads of topsoil, 5,000 cubic yards of geofoam fill, and more than 35,000 plants.
Incorporating nature into the design was a sticking point for the designers. Organic Swings’ slender aluminum frame and inlaid cypress boards combine a contemporary style that incorporates the natural elements that The Meadows’ design team envisioned for the project.
The minimalist design swaps traditional wood-slat swings in favor of a look that lasts a lifetime. The cypress wood pieces are set on a lightweight, aluminum frame and suspended from galvanized, aircraft-grade steel cable for a distinctively modern look and added strength.
Frames are powder-coated to provide maximum durability against scratching and wear. Unlike a steel frame, these aluminum frames are resistant to rust. These high-quality materials withstand wear-and-tear from the elements and insects at the open-air rooftop park.
Organic Swings’ interchangeable backrest design makes it really stand out for guests at The Meadows. The two removable backrests can be easily reconfigured into multiple different positions by dropping the pieces into an array of square holes around the perimeter of the seat. It can transform from a traditional porch swing to a luxurious lounger or an intimate face-to-face conversation space. You can face the seats forward or backward depending on the view you want. A back-to-back orientation can facilitate more focused personal time for two individuals.
“This stunning and expansive outdoor amenity took precision in planning and execution to deliver exactly as envisioned,” Dennis Hill, vice president at BEAR Construction, told Rejournals.
The completion of the rooftop park is considered a milestone achievement for the 2.5-million-square-foot modern-day restoration and repositioning project of the old Chicago Post Office. Originally finished in 1921, the building underwent a large-scale expansion in 1932 to accommodate the city’s growing postal needs. In its heyday, the property was the largest of its kind, capable of shuttling 19 million pieces of mail daily.
Today, the building is home to industry leaders. The most recent incarnation of the Old Post Office was complete in 2019 with tenants including Uber, Walgreens, Ferrara Candy Co., and HomeChef.