North Bridge’s Back Side Probed Again – Expansion Finally Coming?
Mar13

North Bridge’s Back Side Probed Again – Expansion Finally Coming?

It’s been a little over three years since we told you about the big plans for the Shops at North Bridge to get even bigger.  Now Near North Spy Andy has registered a trio of photos with our Tip Line for us to check out.  They show soil sampling crews busy sampling soil to see what lurks beneath the surface parking lot that now inhabits 53 East Illinois Street. This was formerly the location of a Lakeshore Athletic Club, but that...

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SRO Watch: Habitat’s East Park Getting $7m Renovation
Feb13

SRO Watch: Habitat’s East Park Getting $7m Renovation

The Habitat Company, one of the few big Chicago developers who aren’t afraid of the poors, is pouring seven million dollars into renovating an S.R.O. in East Garfield Park. The East Park S.R.O. is a five-story building just two blocks from the park and its magnificent and historic fieldhouse.  It features 152 furnished homes, each with its own bath, full-sized appliances,  and even air conditioning. According to the construction...

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New 56-Story Michigan Avenue Tower Gets Money, Gets Busy
Jan03

New 56-Story Michigan Avenue Tower Gets Money, Gets Busy

This morning it was announced that the developers of Essex On The Park, the new 56-story apartment building in the South Loop landed a $170 million loan to begin construction of the luxury tower. Almost simultaneously, work crews showed up at 808 South Michigan Avenue to put up scaffolding and barriers so that demolition, and eventually construction, can begin. Essex on the Park was designed by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture and is...

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76-Story Skyscraper About to Rise in the South Loop
Dec08

76-Story Skyscraper About to Rise in the South Loop

If your travels don’t take you by Navy Pier to see the construction of One Bennett Park, and you don’t usually find yourself at the dead-end of East Wacker Drive to check on Vista Tower progress, maybe the corner of Michigan and Roosevelt is more convenient for your skyscraper construction viewing pleasure. That’s where, in a matter of days, work is expected to begin on Raphael Viñoly’s 76-story residential...

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Controversial Streeterville Hotel Bypassing City Hall, Moving Forward
Dec02

Controversial Streeterville Hotel Bypassing City Hall, Moving Forward

There are lots of construction projects proposed around Chicago, and lots of them are opposed by neighborhood groups for one reason or another.  But never before have we seen a building so hated that it actually spawned its own anti-building web site. Tishman Realty is trying to replace the old Museum of Contemporary Art building at 237 East Ontario Street with a limited service hotel.  The big bone of contention with neighbors has...

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Permit Issued for 76-Story South Loop Skyscraper
Oct17

Permit Issued for 76-Story South Loop Skyscraper

This time last year, there were three super-tall skyscrapers proposed for downtown Chicago.  We asked several prominent local architects what they thought the chances were of any of them being built. The answer was universally skeptical.  Most thought that just one would be built.  The rest of the people we spoke with said none had a chance of getting off the ground. Today we’re delighted to report that the second of those three...

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Tribune Tower Sold to L.A.’s CIM Group
Aug30

Tribune Tower Sold to L.A.’s CIM Group

For half a decade, locals and industry insiders have been watching the formerly mighty Tribune media empire crack, collapse, and dissolve away like the Antarctic ice shelf.  Today a massive glacier calved off the Tribune Tower in downtown Chicago, floating it over to CIM Group for $240 million in cash money. So, what becomes of the Tribune Tower?  Lots.  CIM isn’t one of those companies that buys a property if it doesn’t...

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More Chicago Buildings Lighting Up For Attention
Aug03

More Chicago Buildings Lighting Up For Attention

When we first started publishing the Chicago Architecture Blog almost 14 (!) years ago, Chicago was a dark city at night. Very few of the city’s buildings were illuminated showpieces, and those that were tended to be older. That era has passed, as more and more Chicago buildings, new and old, are using state-of-the-art illumination technology to give themselves a little sparkle and a bit of “here I am!” showmanship...

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Planned Michigan Avenue Hotel Asks For More Height
Jul08

Planned Michigan Avenue Hotel Asks For More Height

A Michigan Avenue building that never lived up to its potential may finally do so — and then some.  168 North Michigan Avenue was built back in 1916 as the headquarters of the Federal Life Insurance Company.  It was designed by Marshall and Fox to be 16 stories tall, but only made it to 12.  Even so, when the building opened, it was considered a showcase of modern aesthetics and luxury appointments. In modern times, it was known as...

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Rush Bringing Medical Facility to South Loop High Rise
Jul01

Rush Bringing Medical Facility to South Loop High Rise

In April of this year, plans were unveiled to replace the art moderne/brutalist National Letter Carriers Association building at 1411 South Michigan Avenue with a 15-story high rise.   At the event, hosted by third ward Alderman Pat Dowell, developer Russland Capital Group detailed a plan that would see 199 residences built above a medical facility.  We now know more about that medical facility. Rush University Medical Center has...

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