Millennium Park Turns 10; Demands Cake
Jul29

Millennium Park Turns 10; Demands Cake

Millennium Park recently turned ten years old.  In spite of what anyone might think about the price tag, the location, the target audience, or the (alleged!) corruption involved, it’s hard to deny that the park is a success.  It’s become a focal point for the city’s tourist industry, and a symbol of the city on everything from tote bags to web site logos around the world. While Millennium Park is ten-years-old, this...

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Streeterville Citizens Take New Skyscraper Scheme In Stride, But Fret About Park and Parking
Jul29

Streeterville Citizens Take New Skyscraper Scheme In Stride, But Fret About Park and Parking

Even in the high-altitude environs of Streeterville, a proposed 67-story building will draw a bit of attention. Last night, a packed house at the InterContinental Hotel listened politely and intently to a detailed description of Related Midwest’s plans to build a new residential skyscraper at 451 East Grand. Then, they lined up to speak their mind. The comments focused on the usual: height (“Why not just stop at 28 stories?” asked one...

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Slice of Life: Chicago on a Black-and-White Rail
Jul28

Slice of Life: Chicago on a Black-and-White Rail

They’ve been pared back, decked over, repurposed, and there was even once a proposal to turn the whole shebang into a field of wildflowers; but Chicago’s lakefront railroad tracks continue to carry thousands of people into and out of the city each day. Chris Benning sent in this photograph of the tracks as they glide through Grant Park before slipping under the Art Institute of Chicago and disappearing into the...

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Another Skyscraper Barges In Along the Chicago River
Jul25

Another Skyscraper Barges In Along the Chicago River

Amid construction barges and politicians in hardhats, yesterday downtown Chicago got to see its second skyscraper groundbreaking in as many weeks. West Loop Spy Kevin hit our Tip Line and sent in this photo of the official groundbreaking for 150 North Riverside.  The project formerly known as 400 West Randolph is another office-tower-plus-park that will help complete the western portion of the Chicago Riverwalk system. Just as the...

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Status Update: With 200 North Michigan Erased, Time for Act II
Jul25

Status Update: With 200 North Michigan Erased, Time for Act II

200 North Michigan Avenue has been erased.  These photos from Loop Spy Daniel show the demolition of the former six-story commercial building is down to dirt, gravel, and some presumably historic bricks. So now all eyes are peering through the wooden barriers trying to catch the first glimpse of the first truck carrying the first machinery to drill the first caisson for the new and improved 200 North Michigan. That skyscraper,...

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Status Update: Big Places in Tiny Spaces
Jul24

Status Update: Big Places in Tiny Spaces

Construction crews continue working at 66 East Wacker Place, trying to jam a 26-story Hilton Garden Inn into a space only slightly larger than a mouse.  Thanks to Loop Spy Daniel for sending in this picture of the progress. The developer, GDS Companies, and its architect, GREC Architects, see no problem with the plan to stuff the limited-service hotel in the limited space between the 17th Church of Christ, Scientist and the Chicago...

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Kimpton Goes All Loopy Again
Jul23

Kimpton Goes All Loopy Again

Rapidly-expanding San Francisco hotel chain Kimpton is once again active in Chicago’s Loop. Loop Spy Ryan sent in this photograph of work starting on the boutique hotelier’s new project at 39 South LaSalle Street.  You may already know Kimpton most recently from its new Hotel Palomar in the Near North neighborhood.  It is also the brand behind the Hotels Monaco, Allegro, and Burnham in the Loop. The 1894 office building...

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OneEleven Resurrects a Dead High-Rise as a Gleaming New Skyscraper
Jul23

OneEleven Resurrects a Dead High-Rise as a Gleaming New Skyscraper

    From Florida to California and the fly-over country in-between, America is dotted with half-built abandoned commercial developments. The empty, forlorn hulk of the partially completed Waterview Tower, built in 2008, could very well have sat untouched for many more years. Then Related Midwest took a chance on it, pulled out all the stops on a massive do-over, and voila! OneEleven West Wacker was re-born. It’s 60 stories...

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Status Update: A River Runs Next To It
Jul23

Status Update: A River Runs Next To It

Construction crews continue their work along the Chicago River turning a bunch of colored pencil sketches into the city’s newest tourist attraction and public amenity.  There have been dozens of plans floated (ha!) for turning the river’s edge into something more over the decades, but this is the first one in a long time that’s actually being built. Loop Spy Daniel sent in this panorama of the work being done just...

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Amid Dirt, Cranes and Bulldozers, Official Groundbreaking for Wolf Point West
Jul18

Amid Dirt, Cranes and Bulldozers, Official Groundbreaking for Wolf Point West

  One of Chicago’s most anticipated building projects of the last 50 years is now officially underway. Formal groundbreaking ceremonies were held today for Wolf Point West, the first of three skyscrapers in the billion-dollar Wolf Point development at the confluence of the Chicago River’s main channel and North Branch. As we’ve documented here over the last few months, construction is already well underway.  But...

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