The real story behind the Vagina Building

The real story behind the Vagina Building

You may know it by its slightly tamer name, the Diamond Building. But no matter what you call it, the building with the flat top and prominent vertical slit is one of the most famous designs in the Chicago skyline.

Today, the building is known as the Crain Communications Building, a change that just happened this March. Before that it was called the Smurfit-Stone Building, the Stone Container Building and the Associates Center.

Sadly, it’s just a coincidence that the top of the Crain Communication Building looks like a vagina. Designer Sheldon Schlegman (a man) as actually said that he did not intend the building to be a feminist shout-out amongst a sea of phallic skyscrapers. (Although I find it really hard to believe that nobody realized it.)

The diamond-shaped slope is outlined with white bulbs, and on special occasions they’re lit in patterns to spell works or short messages.

The site where the building stands used to be the John Crerar Library. Today, the library is located at the University of Chicago.

The building has been featured in several high-profile movies, including “Adventures in Babysitting” and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.”



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  • I have never heard it called the Vagina Building. Now I can never look at it the same way again. Of course, my boss recently informed me that the Bean (Cloud Gate) looks like a giant clitoris. Way to ruin downtown for a gay man. LOL :)

  • In reply to David W. Quinn:

    HAHAHAHA! Now I'll never look at the Bean the same way!

  • Don't tell King Kong about it!

  • but what's the "real story" though?

    from a rumor I heard it's actually the "Veronica" (or amanda or some other female name building -) named after the designer's wife. But can't find the story behind it.

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