ISBA Remodel Creates More Appealing, Accessible Space in Springfield
After nearly a year of renovations, updates to the Illinois Bar Center — the Springfield headquarters of the Illinois State Bar Association, located east of the state Capitol complex — were completed last month.
In preparing for the remodel, ISBA had several goals in mind: to make the space more appealing to members and increase the building’s accessibility, all while preserving the building’s historical architectural roots and maintaining the organization’s professional atmosphere.
To improve the member experience, the west entranceway, which faces the Capitol on Second Street, was converted into a member lounge. This space can be used to work or relax when visiting Springfield. Also, the east entrance near the parking lot has been clearly labeled as the main entranceway to the building for both visitors and employees.
The renovations also served a more practical purpose — namely, upgrades to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. “Even though we had an elevator, we couldn’t get people to all the levels they needed to be,” Archer said. “And to be able to open our building up to the public, to our members and to staff, we really needed to do that.” Three new chairlifts; disability-accessible bathrooms; a new roof; and a new heating, ventilation, and air condition system were also installed.
As a nod to the original architecture, designed by noted Chicago architect Walter Netsch in 1966, rosewood panels from the boardroom were salvaged and repurposed in the new member lounge. Similarly, the original color scheme, materials, and layout also remained in tact to preserve the building’s roots.
The improvements were debuted on Thursday, March 9, at a reception held at the Springfield headquarters. View photos of the reception here.