The building was constructed in 1904 by the architectural firm of D. H. Burnham & Company under the commission of Otto Young, a real estate investor and wholesale jeweler. It received its name from the son in law of Otto Young, Lawrence Heyworth, who also supervised construction of the building. Like many other buildings along Wabash Avenue, the Heyworth historically housed watchmakers, jewelers, and associated businesses. This structure was one of the final buildings designed by Frederick P. Dinkelberg at the firm before administration was turned over to Ernest Robert Graham.
The Heyworth stands 19 stories tall with a gross square footage of 256,000 square feet (23,800 m2). Its style strays from the typical designs of Burnham and Root, appearing more rigid and geometrical than their other works done in a classical style. It combined the Chicago School's structurally expressive character with decorative appearance common in traditional masonry architecture. The tapestry-like ornament of the building pairs well with the ornamentation designed by Louis Sullivan on the adjacent Sullivan Center building. The Heyworth is also noted for its intact finely crafted decorative cornice, which is an uncommon feature among the other commercial buildings of Chicago. The building was designated a Chicago Landmark on August 30, 2000.
According to a real estate firm that manages the property, the height of the building is listed in various documents as 260, 273, and 282 feet (86 m).