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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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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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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New River North Skyscraper Takes a Bow at the Paris Club
Apr01

New River North Skyscraper Takes a Bow at the Paris Club

Tuesday night, on the dance floor of the Studio Paris Night Club in River North, 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly hosted a community meeting to introduce the public to 205 West Hubbard — the tower project proposed for the intersection of Wells and Hubbard Streets. Once a sizable crowd settled into the posh benches beneath an unlit disco ball, Howard Hirsch, president of Hirsch Associates Architecture, filled everyone in on his...

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Like Trains? You’ll Love Chicago’s Newest Skyscraper [updated]
Mar19

Like Trains? You’ll Love Chicago’s Newest Skyscraper [updated]

Another new residential tower is coming to River North and this one has an interesting, albeit noisy, view. 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly sent out a notice last night inviting neighbors to a public meeting for a new tower at 205 West Hubbard Street. That’s the surface parking lot bifurcated by the CTA’s Brown and Purple Line elevated trains. The project actually includes two buildings so, presumably, it will also...

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Status Update: Wolf Point West
Feb17

Status Update: Wolf Point West

The latest skyscraper getting ready to punctuate Chicago’s skyline is rapidly growing in River North. Loop Spy Ryan took this photo from someone’s home with a much better view than ours showing Wolf Point West (350 North Orleans Street) rising into the sky, right on the edge of the confluence of the North and Main branches of the Chicago River. You can see how the below-grade parking garage yields to the residential...

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Slice of Life: Ghosts of the Other Little Italy
Jan29

Slice of Life: Ghosts of the Other Little Italy

Chicago is a city of neighborhoods.  And while some neighborhoods resist change, others are swept away into the dustbin of history.  Though real estate agents love to fudge with its boundaries, Lincoln Park remains Lincoln Park.  Little Hell is now Cabrini Green.    Chinatown moved from the Loop to the South Side.  And in spite of being eviscerated twice in the name of progress, Little Italy still hangs on. But just as there once was...

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Status Update: Old River North Firehouse
Jan27

Status Update: Old River North Firehouse

If you’ve live, work, or wander around River North long enough, you will eventually run across the old firehouse at 228 West Illinois Street. For years it was something of a sad building.  Businesses came and went, but none seemed to be able to breathe permanent life into the former home of Chicago’s Bravest. Then along came Mr. Jones. The Jones is the name of the skyscraper designed by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture and...

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