The Richard J. Daley Center was designated as a Chicago Landmark on November 6, 2002.
In order for a building to be designated as a Chicago Landmark it must meet at least two of the following criteria: be a critical part of Chicago’s heritage, the site of a significant event, an association with a significant person, important architecture, important architect, distinctive theme as a district, or unique visual feature. It must also retain a high degree of architectural integrity.
The Commission on Chicago Landmarks determined that the Daley Center met four criteria for landmark designation. “The Commission determined the Daley Center is an exceptional example of the International style of architecture, based on the glass-and-steel skyscrapers of famed architect Mies van der Roh; it is an outstanding example of innovative engineering and materials, featuring eighty-seven foot wide building bays, exceptional spatial flexibility and the first-ever use of Cor-Ten steel for a skyscraper; it was Chicago’s first major public building to be constructed in a modern, rather than classical, architectural style; it reaffirmed the Loop as the traditional city center and helped spark the transformation of Dearborn Street into an architectural showpiece of worldwide importance during the 1960s; it is one of the most important buildings designed by C.F. Murphy Associates, whose work was influential in Chicago during the 1960s and 1970s; the Picasso sculpture in the plaza was the Loop’s first monumental sculpture and its installation began the transformation of Chicago’s downtown with works by world-renowned artists; and The Daley Center, its Plaza and Picasso sculpture represent a powerful visual ensemble in the heart of Chicago’s Loop, seen by hundreds of thousands of people each year.
(Excerpt from Journal – City Council – Chicago, 11/6/2002)