Slice of Life: A Flock of Cranes in Downtown Chicago

Downtown Chicago construction cranes (Courtesy of Joe Zekas/YoChicago!)

Downtown Chicago construction cranes (Courtesy of Joe Zekas/YoChicago!)

Have you ever wondered why pictures made during the industrial revolution always seemed to emphasize, even glorify, chimneys and the smoke belching therefrom?  It’s because back then, that was considered a good thing.  Smoke.  Soot.  Machinery.  “Industry” wasn’t just factories and steamships.  It was a word synonymous with progress.

A modern take on “progress” is what we see in the photo above, taken by Joe Zekas at YoChicago! from a penthouse at Wolf Point West.  It shows four construction cranes busy at work building four new towers in downtown Chicago:

  • 165 West Superior
  • 833 North Clark
  • 167 West Erie
  • 640 North LaSalle.

While a group of turtles is called a bale, and a collection of crows is called a murder, there’s no term of venery for construction cranes.  So we submit “flock” in homage to the birds they resemble. And because a group of crane birds is called a sedge.

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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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