Gino’s East About to be Sliced Out of River North
Jul14

Gino’s East About to be Sliced Out of River North

It may not be an official Chicago landmark, but it’s certainly a cultural touchstone for tourists and locals who have so often given the instructions “When you see the giant pizza slices, you’re there.” The former Gino’s East pizza restaurant at 167 West Erie Street will soon be sliced and chewed into non-existance by a demolition crew and their mechanical masticators.  The Chicago Architecture...

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New Design For Wolf Point South, West Towers — Now With 53% More Awesome
Jul12

New Design For Wolf Point South, West Towers — Now With 53% More Awesome

Wolf Point West is making steady progress towards its final height along the edge of the Chicago River, rapidly obliterating the views of literally dozens of people on the other side of the river, sending property values plunging to near zero overnight, and forcing condo owners to eat Purina Cat Chow to make ends meet. Meanwhile, up in Connecticut, starchitecture firm Pelli Clarke Pelli has been quietly revamping its plans for phases...

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Getting to Know… 353 West Grand
Jun30

Getting to Know… 353 West Grand

Last week, the details of the new skyscraper planned for 353 West Grand Avenue in River North were unveiled.  It’s a modestly tall 32-story tower that will replace the Clark & Barlow hardware store. The plans provoked the usual NIMBY wailing of “My views! My views! My precious views!” but with a level of theater previously unseen in these public meetings.  One resident of the Sexton Lofts lofted her child in the...

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Status Update: HoJo is Gone; Make Way for the HoJo Tower
Jun23

Status Update: HoJo is Gone; Make Way for the HoJo Tower

The future of River North is well and truly upon us, as the half-block of land at 720 North LaSalle is ready to receive its bounty: The HoJo Tower. Work appears imminent on the 38-story skyscraper designed by friends-of-the-blog bKL Architecture*, judging by this photo of the space sent in by River North Spy Mike.  City hall hasn’t handed out a foundation permit yet, which is usually the next step after removing the previous...

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Sexton Residents Wail About New View-Killing Tower; Former Alderman Stuns by Taking the Blame
Jun22

Sexton Residents Wail About New View-Killing Tower; Former Alderman Stuns by Taking the Blame

If you thought Onni Group, the Vancouver based developer, was done after recently announcing redevelopment plans for Atrium Village, think again. Tonight, Onni revealed its plan to build a 32-story residential tower at 353 West Grand Avenue during a presentation at the East Bank Club. When complete, the tower will sit on the west end of the site while the remaining area will consist of 15,000 square feet of retail space that butts up...

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Throwback Thursday: When Kingsbury Plaza Wasn’t Even Archdukebury Plaza
Jun11

Throwback Thursday: When Kingsbury Plaza Wasn’t Even Archdukebury Plaza

When you’ve been publishing a blog as long as we have, you end up with one heck of a photograph archive. Fortunately, the interwebs gave us “Throwback Thursday,” an excuse to re-purpose our snapshots from ten years ago. Today the wayback machine takes us to see the genesis of Kingsbury Plaza (520 North Kingsbury Street), or as it was known back then: The Grand Kingsbury.  The stately ovoid column has become such a familiar landmark...

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Oh No! Po’ RiNo HoJo No Mo’
May26

Oh No! Po’ RiNo HoJo No Mo’

If you wanted to get one last glimpse of Chicago’s downtown Howard Johnson’s motel before it was demolished, well you’re too late. It’s gone, baby. The Chicago Architecture Blog‘s Daniel Schell motored by the motor lodge and found that there’s not much of it left other than a pastel-colored exterior wall, and the basement. This will soon be the location of 720 North LaSalle, Magellan...

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New River North Skyscraper Meets Little Resistance from City, Neighbors
May13

New River North Skyscraper Meets Little Resistance from City, Neighbors

No rude waiters slinging insults and cheese fries. No bobby-soxers dancing on counter tops, shaking their… milkshakes. Just a roomful of River North locals curious to see 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly introduce the new apartment tower slated to take over Ed Debevic’s space at 640 North Wells Street. If there were any of Ed’s supporters ready to chain themselves to their favorite booth, they must have been too...

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“Ambicioso” Plan Unveiled for Landmark Downtown Museum Complex
Apr21

“Ambicioso” Plan Unveiled for Landmark Downtown Museum Complex

  It seems like every architecture firm in Chicago has invoked Daniel Burnham’s signature words at one time or another: Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood At this point it’s become cliché, because the quote is always trotted out when a design differs from the accepted norm to justify the architect’s imagination, saying by proxy, “I know it looks wacky, but Uncle Dan says...

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A New Look at 720 North LaSalle
Apr08

A New Look at 720 North LaSalle

Last week we told you that demolition permits have been issued for the former Howard Johnson’s motor lodge at 720 North LaSalle in downtown Chicago.  That means construction of a new skyscraper planned for that location can’t be far behind. In that light, friends-of-the-blog, bKL Architecture sent over the latest set of renderings of 720 North LaSalle.  Enjoy Interestingly, the images came over labeled “165 West...

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