Thompson Center architect says facility should be repurposed

CHICAGO (AP) — The architect of Chicago’s James R. Thompson Center says the best way to improve the 30-year-old state government building is to repurpose it.

Gov. Bruce Rauner announced plans Tuesday to vacate and sell the building designed by Helmut Jahn (yahn). Rauner says the building is inefficient and selling it at public auction benefits taxpayers. He says possibilities include demolishing it.

But in a statement Jahn says that the building hasn’t been maintained or repaired. He says the original vision for the glass-paneled building was to be a symbol for the “openness and transparency” of state government.

Jahn says its downtown location is enticing and it can become a 21st century landmark.

Rauner declined to say how much the building is worth. It cost roughly $170 million in the 1980s.