Change Brewing on North Michigan Avenue
Jan16

Change Brewing on North Michigan Avenue

Permits have been issued for the nearly $10 million transformation of the former Crate and Barrel flagship store on the Magnificent Mile into a new mega Starbucks. INTERIOR & EXTERIOR ALTERATIONS (GROUND THROUGH 5TH FLOOR) FOR SHELL & CORE ONLY TO INCLUDE NEW ROOF DECK OF AN EXISTING FIVE (5) STORY MERCANTILE BUILDING AS PER PLANS. The four-story building at 646 North Michigan Avenue opened in 1990, and it shaped like a (wait...

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Baffled by Winter, Left Coast Bloggers Jump Ugly on Chicago’s Apple Store
Jan02

Baffled by Winter, Left Coast Bloggers Jump Ugly on Chicago’s Apple Store

Since this publication began almost 15 years ago, we’ve always stated there is a big difference between blogging and journalism.  That became evident over this New Year’s Eve weekend, when a bunch of 20-somethings with smartphones who like to play journalist lit up the internet with cries that there was something wrong with the new Apple flagship store at Pioneer Court. Sadly, it started with local blogger Matt Maldre who...

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Tuesday Trivia: Double Intersections
Nov21

Tuesday Trivia: Double Intersections

OK, Chicago cartography fans.  Name a pair of streets in Chicago that intersect each other twice. Our answer: Sheridan and Broadway. Sheridan and Broadway meet in Lake View where the northbound Sheridan makes a 90 degree turn and goes all lateral, crossing its soulmate. Sheridan and Broadway also meet four miles north in Rogers Park, a ricochet that sends Devon west and Sheridan northward. Chicago is such a large city (234 square...

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Checking In On 168 North Michigan
Nov13

Checking In On 168 North Michigan

Today we’re checking in on 168 North Michigan, because it looks like it will be a long time before anyone else checks in at the hotel that’s supposed to be going in this space. 168 has been the subject of many big plans, and a metric ton of pigeon droppings, ever since Greece’s Atlantic Bank left the building close to a decade ago.  It’s currently being converted into a 200+ room “independent lifestyle...

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Chicago’s Pioneer Court Apple Store Opens in 3… 2… 1…
Oct20

Chicago’s Pioneer Court Apple Store Opens in 3… 2… 1…

Apple’s new Michigan Avenue flagship store opens for business this morning.  The Cupertino, California computer and gadget company made a splash several years ago when it revealed that it would shutter its 2003 flagship at Michigan and Huron and move six blocks down the street to take over the underground cafeteria and utility space at 401 North Michigan Avenue. The most important thing the building did is create a workable...

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Why Fix It? City to Pave  Over its Gold Coast Problem
Oct09

Why Fix It? City to Pave  Over its Gold Coast Problem

If you’ve been hoping for the last decade that the City of Chicago might finally get around to repairing and re-opening the tunnels beneath the intersection of Michigan and Oak Street, forget it.  It’s not gonna happen. It’s been about ten years since the pedestrian conveniences were shuttered.  Each day hundreds of commuters used them to cross the intersection without having to stand on the corner waiting for a walk...

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Residential Tower May Be On Tap For Former Mandarin Oriental Space
Sep26

Residential Tower May Be On Tap For Former Mandarin Oriental Space

Eleven years after the Chicago architecture world was dazzled by SBC’s design for a Mandarin Oriental hotel tower just behind Michigan Plaza, there are signs once again that something might be happening there. It was 2006 that plans were revealed for a 74-story, 900-foot-tall building that would house 250 hotel rooms, 150 luxury condominiums, and 100 über-luxe palaces in the sky branded as The Mandarin Oriental Residences. When...

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Downtown Chicago Apple Flagship To Open October 20
Sep12

Downtown Chicago Apple Flagship To Open October 20

The opening of the new Steve Jobs theater at Apple Park in Cupertino, California wasn’t the only architecture news of note today. During Apple’s annual iPhone presentation, a portion of the show was given over to the technology company’s Senior Vice President of Retail, Angela Ahrendts. She let the world know that the new Apple Store at Pioneer Court on Michigan Avenue will open October 20th. “Our team has...

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Landmarks to Consider Johnson Publishing Building Residential Conversion
Sep06

Landmarks to Consider Johnson Publishing Building Residential Conversion

At its regular monthly meeting tomorrow, a committee of the Commission on Chicago Landmarks will consider a request to allow the conversion of the former Johnson Publishing Building (820 South Michigan Avenue) from offices to residential use. The 11-story brutalist building designed by John W. Moutoussamy was the headquarters of the Johnson empire for decades — a media conglomerate best known for decades for its Ebony and Jet...

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Pics and Video of the University Club’s Michigan Avenue Expansion
Aug22

Pics and Video of the University Club’s Michigan Avenue Expansion

One of Chicago’s oldest and most respected organizations is going to soon have a rooftop hang-out to let down its hair. The University Club of Chicago is getting ready to unveil its expanded headquarters at 76 East Monroe Street.  The organization has been busy building into and onto its neighboring building cluster, known as the Gage Group.  It popped off the seventh floor roof at 30 South Michigan to make it taller, and added...

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