Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Wanda Vista Tower
Jun18

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Wanda Vista Tower

Where do we even begin with this one? The Wanda Vista Tower is official.  Not that the 1,151-foot-tall supertower planned for 381 East Wacker Drive wasn’t official when Wang Jianlin, the richest man in China, ballyhooed her into existence almost a year ago.  Or when 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly held a public meeting about her two months ago.  But the kind of official we like — in black and white paperwork, stacked high, in...

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New Hotel Pix to Get Your Motor Running
Jun17

New Hotel Pix to Get Your Motor Running

We’ve been diligently following the story of the transformation of the landmark Chicago Motor Club Building (68 East Wacker Place) from a derelict Art Deco spire into a healthy and happening Hampton Inn.  You’ll remember the hotel opened to the public last month, with common areas that preserve much of the building’s legacy. Hampton Inn sent over a new batch of photos of the interior of the place, including a lot of...

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Where to Get Your First Real Taste of the Wanda Vista Tower
Jun12

Where to Get Your First Real Taste of the Wanda Vista Tower

All eyes are on 381 East Wacker Drive these days as everyone from heavy-breathing skyscraper nerds to drooling real estate agents search out any sign that Chicago’s next mega tower might actually be built.  That sign has come.  In the form of a building permit for the Wanda Vista Tower’s sales office. The sales office will be carved out of 10,000 square feet of space at the nearby Coast building (345 East Wacker Drive)....

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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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Latest Cabrini-Area Residential Tower Breaks Ground
Jun10

Latest Cabrini-Area Residential Tower Breaks Ground

With ceremonial shovels, gawking bankers, and a background of construction equipment, Fifield Companies broke ground on its newest residential tower yesterday, called Next at 347 West Chestnut Street. The Chicago Architecture Blog’s Daniel Schell was there as brass shovels sliced into soil for the ceremonial groundbreaking, as he was several months ago when backhoes gouged the earth for the first time in the building’s...

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New Streeterville Skyscraper to Scrape Sky, Fix Park [updated]
Jun10

New Streeterville Skyscraper to Scrape Sky, Fix Park [updated]

Like a good neighbor, the new Loews Chicago Hotel played host to the Streeterville community Tuesday evening to introduce the potential new kid on the block, Jupiter Realty Company’s 465 North Park Drive. Alderman Brendon Reilly (42nd) let the public in on the updated plan for the site (Not this one – those are the old plans), a 513-foot, 45-story tower at the corner of North Park Drive and East Illinois Street. The vision...

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Four New Skyscrapers About to Sprout in Near North
Jun09

Four New Skyscrapers About to Sprout in Near North

Well, this has been a long time coming. After years of anticipation, we’re finally getting our first concrete look at the redevelopment plans for Atrium Village, the low- and mid-rise apartment complex at 300 West Hill Street in the city’s Near North neighborhood.  Last year the Onni Group out of Vancouver coughed up $53 million for the property, and is now ready to move forward with big, big plans. When completed, the...

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Brick Jockey Building Downtown Chicago One Lego at a Time
Jun08

Brick Jockey Building Downtown Chicago One Lego at a Time

Who of a certain age doesn’t love Legos?  As children we used piles of the multi-colored magic to turn our fantasies into reality, while barefooted nocturnal fathers cursed the tiny bricks, and indifferent mothers Hoovered them into clattering oblivion. No such tension exists in the Bronzeville home of Rocco Buttliere, where the IIT student is re-creating Chicago’s architectural nexus out of thousands of shiny plastic...

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Status Update: We Only Have Eyes for MiLa
Jun08

Status Update: We Only Have Eyes for MiLa

The residential tower at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Lake Street known as MiLa climbs ever-skyward.  Loop Spy Daniel looked out his office window at 200 North Michigan recently, and saw quite a show being put on by the workers from Pepper Construction and McHugh Construction— busy as little bees in their yellow netted hive. MiLa was designed by friends-of-the-blog, bKL Architecture, and is one of the cornerstones in the...

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Throwback Thursday: The Skyline in 1989
Jun04

Throwback Thursday: The Skyline in 1989

Funny things come into the Chicago Architecture Blog tip line, ever since we moved it from a loose tile in the wall of the third stall in the men’s room at Ogilvie Station to completely e-mail and text-message methods. Dave in Toronto sent in a picture of the Chicago skyline he took in 1989.  And while you’re trying to remember what you were doing in 1989, here’s something the kiddies have never heard of: Dave took...

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