Plan for Two New Towers in Logan Square Met With Overwhelming Hostility
Oct31

Plan for Two New Towers in Logan Square Met With Overwhelming Hostility

“Are you for or against?” I was asked as soon as I took a seat inside Logan Square’s Candela Restaurant. I didn’t know it at the time, but “Neither, yet. I’m here to learn about the proposal before I form an opinion,” was nothing if not a safe response. That man soon left the seat next to me, to be replaced by two young women, one of them assuring me most of the crowd would be against the Dual...

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Totally Tubular! Chicago Art Aficionados Go Gaga For Wabash Lights
Oct31

Totally Tubular! Chicago Art Aficionados Go Gaga For Wabash Lights

It smells of diesel. Weird stuff drips down from it. The noise is unnerving every few minutes. I’m referring, of course, to the CTA elevated train tracks in the Loop. For tourists and locals alike, walking under the L tracks may not seem like strolling through a field of daisies. Jack Newell, Seth Unger and Justin Wardell aim to change that. They are the brains behind The Wabash Lights. It’s a bold public art initiative using light as...

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Block37 Residences Has its Official Groundbreaking Sans Ground
Oct30

Block37 Residences Has its Official Groundbreaking Sans Ground

The new apartment tower being perched atop the Block37 mall, transportation, and office complex had its official groundbreaking ceremony yesterday.  But what do you do when you want to have a groundbreaking and there’s no ground to break?  Chips and dip in the pedway. Chicago Architecture Blog photographer Milosh Kosanovich was there as the CIM Group hosted 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly and a gaggle of real estate types at...

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The Blackstone Hotel’s Roles In Presidential And Movie History
Oct29

The Blackstone Hotel’s Roles In Presidential And Movie History

If it’s clean sheets, free HBO and a continental breakfast you’re after, any Hampton Inn off the interstate will do the job. For history and pedigree in overnight lodging, you’ll have to search a little harder. The Renaissance Blackstone Hotel at 636 South Michigan Avenue fits the bill nicely. The 1908 structure was one of the most ornate and stately tour venues from the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s 2014 Open House Chicago....

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15-Story Condo Building Proves A Tough Sell In River North
Oct28

15-Story Condo Building Proves A Tough Sell In River North

“Are you a concerned citizen?” asked the gentleman seated next to me. “No,” I replied. “I’m a reporter.” Maybe that didn’t come out exactly right. It may also have inadvertently perpetuated a stereotype about the fourth estate. Nevertheless, there were plenty of bona fide concerned citizens in attendance Monday evening at 633 North Wells to hear details about a new River North planned development. They didn’t much like what they...

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Eviscerating an Old Friend
Oct27

Eviscerating an Old Friend

  The billion-dollar transformation of venerable* Wrigley Field (1060 West Addison Street) continues, with major changes evident from the outset.  We’ve been to the Wrigley renovation rodeo before, and knew for a long time that the changes would be dramatic, but there’s still something disturbing about seeing diggers hacking the venerable ballpark to pieces before our eyes. Chicago Architecture Blog photographer...

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Testa Produce Gives New Meaning To “Green” With Innovative Environmental Design
Oct27

Testa Produce Gives New Meaning To “Green” With Innovative Environmental Design

For the past week, I’ve been reusing the same Styrofoam cup. I think twice before printing out anything. And I’ve been a bit more diligent about recycling. I credit my newfound commitment to the environment to a recent tour of Testa Produce (4555 South Racine Avenue). Take a stroll through the Back of the Yards wholesale food distributor, and you’ll rethink your carbon footprint, too. Testa was one of the 150 tour sites offered by the...

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Status Update: Lexington Square 2
Oct22

Status Update: Lexington Square 2

It’s been a long time since we checked the progress at Lexington Park phase 2.  A really long time.  Like two years.  So it’s not surprising that the project is done.  But the interesting part is that the mini neighborhood across Sangamon Street from Donnovan Playground Park, and  just a nose’s sniff away from Bubbly Creek, looks like it’s been there forever.  And just like the last time we were here, the place...

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A Coat of Paint, or the Start of a New Skyscraper?
Oct20

A Coat of Paint, or the Start of a New Skyscraper?

Loop Spy Otto (Really?  “Otto?”) sent in these photographs of the parking garage at 200 West Randolph Street getting a new paint job.  Why is that so interesting?  Because the wall being panted is planned to be the common wall joining John Buck Company’s new 151 North Franklin. The city of Chicago approved construction of the 36-story office building designed by John Ronan in April of this year.  Since then, the...

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Brooklyn Bowl Rolls A Strike With the (Ordinarily Cranky) West Loop Crowd
Oct15

Brooklyn Bowl Rolls A Strike With the (Ordinarily Cranky) West Loop Crowd

A West Loop community meeting devoid of naysayers is about as rare as an 8 p.m. Saturday reservation at Girl & The Goat. But that was the case Tuesday evening when Convexity Properties asked West Loopers for their blessing on a rezoning proposal. The property in question is a musty old three-story building at 832-856 West Fulton Market. Convexity is pursing a zoning change to allow 18,000 square feet of retail at ground level...

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