Status Update: Wolf Point West Topps Out
Jul20

Status Update: Wolf Point West Topps Out

Wolf Point’s left canine is growing with all the frenzy of Soupy Sales’ imaginary radio dog, White Fang… if you’re old enough to remember that sort of thing. If you’re not, let’s just say that Wolf Point West is a visual force to be reckoned with, imposing its presence on the Chicago riverfront before the seeds of its two companion towers have even been planted.  More importantly, it has now topped...

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Optimistic About Optima II
Jul17

Optimistic About Optima II

After a slow start, one thing is starting to lead to another at the site of what will eventually be the Optima II tower, behind Tribune Tower at 240 East Illinois Street in Streeterville. It’s been almost a month since the city issued permits for a temporary tower crane to get the 54-story residential building started. And as The Chicago Architecture Blog’s Daniel Schell discovered, the little red stub is finally in place...

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Prentless Whisper: Is This The Calm Before the Form?
Jul15

Prentless Whisper: Is This The Calm Before the Form?

  Two months after the official — and strangely semi-private — groundbreaking ceremony for Northwestern University’s new biomedical research tower, things are starting to stir at 333 East Superior Street. It is not yet beating a dead horse to mention that this was formerly the location of Bertrand Goldberg’s bulbous but beloved Prentice Women’s Hospital, which was torn asunder (first and last time I’m...

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Slice of Life: The Barge in Charge
Jul13

Slice of Life: The Barge in Charge

At the confluence of the Chicago River and its North Branch three skyscrapers are  currently going up, transforming the skyline in this corner of the city. One of those buildings is 150 North Riverside.  Designed by friends-of-the-blog Goettsch Partners, the building’s core is sunk into the earth between two railroad tracks. Those tracks will eventually be decked over with a park, and when the tower gets high enough above the...

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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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Status Update: Homewood-Hampton Taking Shape in West Loop
Jul09

Status Update: Homewood-Hampton Taking Shape in West Loop

When Gotham City found itself in trouble, it’d illuminate the Bat Signal, alerting Batman all was not well with the world. Here at The Chicago Architecture Blog, we look to the sky for signs of construction, not trouble. In our city, we have Progress, with a capital P, which rhymes with C, and that stands for Construction. And nothing points the way to an exciting construction project like a big honking crane stretching for the...

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Ahoy! Marina City Could Become Chicago’s Newest Landmark
Jul08

Ahoy! Marina City Could Become Chicago’s Newest Landmark

Bertrand Goldberg imagined the Marina City towers would look like two trees, with the central columns (containing elevators and stairways) functioning as the trunks. The twin towers, as familiar a component of the Chicago skyline as any buildings, may soon become official landmarks. Tomorrow, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks will recommend Marina City be given landmark status. The 587-foot, 65-story towers have identical floor...

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Just a Moment… Don’t Call it 545 McClurg Anymore
Jul07

Just a Moment… Don’t Call it 545 McClurg Anymore

The only thing we like less than a surface parking lot is a skyscraper with a terrible name.  In most cases, the worst possible name arrives when a developer or owner decides to just go with the building’s address for a name.  It’s like when someone calls their dog “dog.”  Or when an artist creates an enormous, dramatic work of art and calls it “Study #4.”  It is the very definition of insipid....

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Status Update: This Crane’s Chicago Business
Jul07

Status Update: This Crane’s Chicago Business

The hotel sammitch being built on the west side of downtown Chicago should soon make its mark in the city’s skyline. West Loop Spy Kurt sent in this photo of the crane for 108 North Jefferson going about its business of building Chicago’s latest hotels — a VOA-designed 23-story combination Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites. Construction work has been underway since at least April, but Kurt tells us that the official...

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Walton No. 9 Is Alive
Jul06

Walton No. 9 Is Alive

There’s nothing like the smell of fresh diesel smoke in the morning.  Especially when that smell comes from a big yellow digger freshly delivered to the site of a future skyscraper. Gold Coast Spy Brian pinged our TIP LINE with the photograph above.  He snapped it this morning at the site of what will eventually become No. 9 Walton (9 West Walton Street).  At 35 stories and just over 400 feet tall, it’s not going to be the...

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