The Terminal

The Terminal

Chicago, Illinois

Adapting a Historic Site for Chicago’s Bioscience Sector

The Terminal in Chicago is the adaptive reuse of the former Pyle-National Company, which made headlights for trains—and the lights for Soldier Field Stadium and Wrigley Field—until vacating the site in 1992. Over time, the sprawling complex became neglected and unsafe, negatively impacting the neighborhood of Humboldt Park.

IBT Group & Joe Mansueto
245,000 SF

After thirty years, new owners sought to breathe new life into the site. Its long, horizontal factory buildings with copious square footage presented tremendous potential for campus-style corporate use. In Chicago, companies requiring expansive space usually have two options: go vertical or depart for the suburbs. The Terminal is a new and desirable alternative.

After stabilizing the buildings, we identified a unique opportunity to appeal to Chicago’s burgeoning bioscience sector. Working within the parameters of the National Register of Historic Places, we embraced the buildings’ industrial underpinnings, retaining features like timber columns and oversized fire doors.

To offer maximum flexibility and complete space customization for large companies and startups alike, our design-build approach leveraged innovative, multi-tenant workspaces with sleek aesthetics and wide-open layouts. Today, The Terminal is a vibrant hub for innovation and a source of pride for the neighborhood.

Terminal A

At 175,000 square feet, this building serves as the central hub of the campus with a lobby, coffee bar, monumental stair, lounge areas, and shared conference room. Lofted ceilings can accommodate large equipment.

Lab Sharing

An innovative lab incubator can occupy the second level of Terminal A under 32-foot ceilings and skylights. The 30,000-square-foot space can welcome a single user or teams of various sizes who need specialized workspace and equipment.

Collaborative Design

Contiguous corridors, flex spaces, community amenities, and outdoor access establish a collaborative energy and environment where innovators will rethink what’s possible—and accomplish it on site.

Outdoor Spaces

The Terminal’s innovators connect with each other and find serenity alone in multiple green spaces. Amenities include a hydroponic garden, walkways, and a food truck zone.

Flexible Spaces

Taking a design-build approach, we created customized workspaces for each tenant. Start-ups will have access to more space as they grow.

Individual Climate Control

All spaces have independent HVAC systems for customized climate control, perfect for all science operations with sensitive temperature needs.


Historic items found during the construction, such as round gauge clocks and a large circuit board, are incorporated into the design.