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Parks Promoters Warn Chicago’s Greenspace Being Nibbled to Death
Apr06

Parks Promoters Warn Chicago’s Greenspace Being Nibbled to Death

  A restaurant here, a museum there, and the next thing you know — there’s no more parks.  That’s the warning coming from the Friends of the Parks organization over the latest round of plans to repurpose Chicago’s parkland. FotP is well-known for its battle against the proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, which the city wants to plop onto a surface parking lot near Soldier Field.  It’s also fighting...

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Getting Ready to Turn Dirt at 108 North Jefferson
Apr06

Getting Ready to Turn Dirt at 108 North Jefferson

The long-awaited transformation of the gravel and dirt parking lot at 108 North Jefferson Street into a hotel sandwich is finally starting.  A few days ago permits were issued to begin the foundation work, described thusly: Foundations systems only for proposed 24-story Hotel with above ground parking on 2nd and 3rd floors, 5th floor amenities, 336 rooms on floors 6-23 and roof top restaurant The developer is Jupiter Realty.  You may...

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Status Update: Wolf Point West Growing Like a Weed
Apr06

Status Update: Wolf Point West Growing Like a Weed

Spring is here, and as your lawn fights the crabgrass for sunlight one thing is true: Left to fend for itself, the weeds will win.  The same is true of downtown Chicago skyscrapers, where Wolf Point West, amply watered on three sides by the Chicago River and nurtured every day by teams of construction workers, is growing like a weed in the downtown skyscraper lawn. Loop Spy Len sent in this photo of Wolf Point he took from the Green...

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In The Year The Cubs Finally Seem Ready, Wrigley Is Not
Apr03

In The Year The Cubs Finally Seem Ready, Wrigley Is Not

When I wandered around Wrigley Field (1060 West Addison Street) last fall, just after our beloved bleachers were reduced to scrap, I marveled at the task at hand, impressed such destruction could be rebuilt in time for Opening Day 2015. Well, send me to Triple AAA and call me naïve. Because sure enough, as you no doubt are aware by now, nary a fan shall catch a home run ball within the Friendly Confines until at least May. In...

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Oh No! HoJo Demo a Go!
Apr02

Oh No! HoJo Demo a Go!

If you’re a fan of googie architecture, and mid-century kitsch, get your camera down to 720 North LaSalle before the Chicago’s downtown Howard Johnson’s motel disappears into a cloud of cinderblock dust and memories. A demolition permit has been issued for the long-lived motor lodge, which will soon be replaced by a shiny new skyscraper. The permit, itself, is brief, stark, and unfeeling.  Saying only WRECK AND...

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Status Update: The New Kid on the Block Working Hard to Fit In
Mar31

Status Update: The New Kid on the Block Working Hard to Fit In

Six months ago, an historic South Loop home spent two days as Chicago’s media darling because it did something that few homes ever do: It changed its address. The Rees House was hefted onto a massive dolly and ever-so-gently rolled down the street from 2110 South Prairie Avenue to its new, and current, home at 2017 South Prairie Avenue. It was an event that had something for everyone — big construction machines, police...

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A Second GEMS Ready To Sparkle in Lakeshore East
Mar25

A Second GEMS Ready To Sparkle in Lakeshore East

Phase two of the GEMS World Academy (355 East Wacker Drive) at Lakeshore East is officially underway.  Groundbreaking ceremonies were held Wednesday, as you can see in these photos supplied by friends-of-the-blog bKL Architecture, which designed both this building and the phase one GEMS building, which opened this past fall at 350 East South Water Street. The first GEMS building is an 82,000 square-foot technology and educational...

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Status Update: Welcome to the Hotel Atari
Mar25

Status Update: Welcome to the Hotel Atari

  The Hilton Garden Inn at 66 East Wacker Place has reached its maximum height, and right now the facade is being buttoned up.  In the minds of vocal readers, it’s gone from bad to worse. We received a few messages from you disapproving of the building’s yellow exterior.  “Don’t worry, Fair Reader, that’s just insulation and such.  It’ll soon be covered in gray metal panels,” we told you....

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Status Update: Snow, Sleet Can’t Stop Skyscrapers
Mar25

Status Update: Snow, Sleet Can’t Stop Skyscrapers

While the entire Chicagoland transportation system collapsed under the weight of three inches of snow on Monday, construction workers kept banging away at 200 North Michigan Avenue. Loop Spy Daniel (no, not that one; the other one) sent in this photo of the bKL-designed skyscraper-in-progress, taken from the safety of CVS aisle 6 inside a warm and dry Illinois Center (the reason for the light reflections).  You can see the retail and...

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No. 9 Walton Just Got Real [updated]
Mar25

No. 9 Walton Just Got Real [updated]

Yesterday we told you about No. 9 Walton (9 West Walton Street), the thumbnail sketch of a luxury skyscraper planned for Chicago’s Gold Coast.  At the time we posited that it was still a long way from web site to reality and party hats and streamers were not yet in order.  But it turns out that a trip to Party City may be closer than we thought. Upon seeing yesterday’s article, The Chicago Architecture Blog’s...

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