New Gold Coast Skyscraper to Help De-Funkifying State Street

Drawing of the Quinlan School of Business with 1 East Chestnut behind

Crain’s Chicago Business has the scoop today on a new 35-story apartment tower planned for 1 East Chestnut Street, the corner of State and Chestnut, on the edge of Chicago’s Gold Coast.

The 365-apartment tower proposed by developer Newcastle will replace a surface parking lot and a one-story building, and is adjacent to a planned 10-story Loyola University classroom building.  That building was announced this past summer, and if built, will replace a one-story beauty supply store and a five-story building built in 1898 with a bar on the bottom and apartments above.  None of them are currently considered architecturally significant by the city.

The location of the proposed new tower is in the surface parking lot behind 21 East Chestnut, which is blocking the view of the lot in this picture.

Not too long ago, this stretch of North State Street was more than a little funky.  But new developments have erased  surface parking lots, grotty convenience stores, and urine-soaked S.R.O.’s with upscale hotels, apartment blocks, and retailers.  Somehow, however, in spite of being torn down and rebuilt, the McDonald’s at State and Chicago continues to ooze funk into the neighborhood.

Crain’s notes the developer of the apartment tower hopes to break ground by the Autumn of 2013.  There hasn’t been a peep out of Loyola about its planned building. It is being named after  McDonald’s C.E.O. Michael Quinlan, who donated $40 million to the school.  The school is expected to use money from the sale of the land for the Newcastle tower to help build the $63 million classroom building.


Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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  1. Any idea who the architect is? In the rendering, the surface treatment is a bit reminiscent of the new design for 111 West Wacker.

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    • Editor

      You’re right — the design is similar to 111, and in a way also similar to 215 West Washington. I don’t know the architect of the tower yet, but the school building is SCB.

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  2. Another welcome addition to the neighborhood. That stretch of State (especially the East side) has been nothing but decaying for years. Glad to see another surface lot bite the dust.

    Oh, totally agree that Mickey D’s brings all sorts of “funk” into that area but don’t forget the main offender: YMCA at Chicago & Dearborn.

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    • Editor

      I think of the YMCA as more of a carrier than a cause of the disease. It serves a necessary purpose considering how few SROs there are left in Chicago. But you’re right — it attracts the bad with the good. It would be great if this Y could raise its neighborhood and social profile the way the 92nd Street Y in New York has.

      I heard recently that there are at least three outpatient drug treatment centers in the area, and I noticed one recently on Clark Street. I think that might also contribute to the problem.

      What I don’t understand is the crowds of people who just stand outside the subway station entrance. They don’t seem to have anywhere to go. They don’t get on the buses, they don’t get on the train, they don’t patronize the McDonald’s. But at the same time, I know they’re closely watched by CPD and the McDonald’s off-duty cop security personnel. So, what gives? I don’t understand what’s so attractive about that corner to them. And where do they come from? They don’t appear to be from the neighborhood.

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      • YMCA, McDonalds, Liquor Store, Pawn Shop, CTA. These are all around the same intersection. It’s a perfect recipe for undesirable characters to be stationed. It’s like a homeless summit over there.

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