PEORIA — Historic feature restoration was a time-consuming and expensive focus in the renovation of OSF HealthCare’s new headquarters at the historic Schipper and Block department store in downtown Peoria.
But that work is nearing completion, with the first employees only months away from moving in.
OSF officials led a tour of the space on Tuesday, highlighting some of the work being done on the renovations and restorations.
‘Almost everything had to be redone’
Original to the 1905 building is much elaborate plasterwork, including decorative capitals on top of more than 100 massive columns. Everything required expert restoration and, in many cases, re-creation. The cornices on the seventh floor, which once housed the department store’s tea room, also required a lot of resources.
“This is the floor closest to the roof, the roof was just repaired and now we are just finishing the plaster on this floor,” said Jim Mormann, chief executive officer of Integrated Solutions at OSF HealthCare, who led the tour of the construction site.
Earlier:With a nod to history, the OSF building takes shape in Downtown Peoria
Due to water leakage, the plaster cornice had to be extensively repaired.
“Virtually everything had to be redone,” he said.
In addition to repairs, the stucco also required a lot of thinking and planning when furnishing the office spaces. As per the requirements of the two agencies providing historic building tax credits for the project, none of the shapes or other historic features in the building could be hidden from view.
Employee intake planned for early 2022
“Without the historic tax credits, the building could not have been renovated,” says Mormann. “It would have been priceless.”
With the $135 million project entering its final stages in 2018, Mormann said workers will begin moving into the building in January. While most of the seven-story structure is still under construction, all major construction has been completed, and it won’t be long before workers have finished the interior space, he said.
Construction history:Important dates in the history of the new headquarters
The building will create a unified space for approximately 500 OSF employees who currently work in offices located throughout central Illinois.
“Right now there are at least seven different buildings where our employees are located,” says Mormann. “Every time you do that, the efficiency increases. It also gives us the opportunity to mix and share different strategies.”