Yeah, Why Don’t You Meet Me For Lunch At The Cat-Piloted Flying Saucer 
Nov24

Yeah, Why Don’t You Meet Me For Lunch At The Cat-Piloted Flying Saucer 

I don’t know about you, but the office I work in doesn’t have a tiki bar. Or an enchanted forest. Or a giant cat in a flying saucer. Well, you might have those amenities in your workplace… if you work for Groupon. You could probably call it whimsical, fun, funky, or maybe a little weird. Either way, this isn’t a silk-stocking law firm or a staid old bank. And the Groupon folks are probably just fine with their anti-corporate,...

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The Cubist Godfrey Hotel Provides A Modern Lodging For River North Guests
Nov21

The Cubist Godfrey Hotel Provides A Modern Lodging For River North Guests

Look across the Chicago skyline and you often see century-old buildings sitting side-by-side with new structures. Architecturally, they couldn’t look farther apart. But that’s what makes the cityscape here so interesting. Every era and popular design leaves its mark. The Godfrey Hotel Chicago at 127 West Huron Street is a good example. The hotel, which opened in early 2014, exhibits a modern, cubist style. It was one of the newer...

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Jewel Tower Scans With Plan Commission, Heads to City Hall’s Express Checkout
Nov20

Jewel Tower Scans With Plan Commission, Heads to City Hall’s Express Checkout

Just hours after the general public was given its first taste of the proposed new skyscraper and supermarket planned for the Gold Coast, the Chicago Plan Commission scanned it, threw it in a plastic bag and sent it off to the full city council for its rubber stamp of approval. It was just 44 hours and 18 minutes earlier that a packed crowd of neighbors gathered at the Thompson Hotel to see pictures of the proposed development at 1200...

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Gold Coast’s New Jewel Tower Gets Roughed
Nov19

Gold Coast’s New Jewel Tower Gets Roughed

When the final audience speaker of the evening praises Chicago’s NIMBY attitude for keeping the city honest and inhabitable, it might be hard to get a good read on the proceedings of a community meeting. Nevertheless, Tuesday evening a capacity room debated the merits and drawbacks of the new Jewel flagship store and 390-unit apartment tower proposed to replace the existing Gold Coast store at 1200 North Clark Street. The...

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DIRTT Environmental Solutions Boasts Airy, Open Work Environment At Rivers Edge
Nov19

DIRTT Environmental Solutions Boasts Airy, Open Work Environment At Rivers Edge

A number of times when I’ve interviewed for jobs over the years, there’s been a temptation to ask whether the office has windows. I find windowless office spaces grim and depressing. Studies have shown that workers operate more efficiently when they’re exposed to daylight. That’s why when I walked into the DIRTT Environmental Solutions’ Green Learning Center at 325 North Wells Street, I thought, “Man, I could work here.” I suppose...

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From High Atop Michigan Avenue, The Cliff Dwellers Club Offers A Gathering Place For Patrons Of The Arts
Nov18

From High Atop Michigan Avenue, The Cliff Dwellers Club Offers A Gathering Place For Patrons Of The Arts

“We eat a lot of lunches here—it’s a gathering place for conversation.” That—and a stunning view—is the essence of the Cliff Dwellers. The club atop 200 South Michigan Avenue is a haven and hangout for patrons of the arts. It also was one of the 150 unique locations offered up by the Chicago Architecture Foundation for the 2014 Open House Chicago. Cliff Dwellers was founded in 1907 by Hamlin Garland, an author prominent in the arts...

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Tip-Top-Tap Renovation To Restore The Grand Old Allerton Hotel To Former Glory
Nov11

Tip-Top-Tap Renovation To Restore The Grand Old Allerton Hotel To Former Glory

I remember 50 years ago when my parents took me to New York City for the first time and I saw the Pan Am Building, the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. The majesty, the character, the size and scope of those iconic buildings was a memory I’ve carried for many years. Not long after that trip to Manhattan, we made the trek from tiny O’Fallon, Illinois to Chicago for the first time. Of course, I remember the Tribune...

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Status Update: How Does Your Hilton Garden Inn Grow?
Nov11

Status Update: How Does Your Hilton Garden Inn Grow?

The Hilton Garden Inn planed at 66 East Wacker Place by GDS Companies continues its beanstalk act.  Loop Spy Nathan sent in these photos showing that what was once thought to be a dead-end alley mere months ago has been transformed into the skeleton of a very narrow skyscraper. When complete, the 26-story limited-service hotel designed by GREC Architects will have 191 rooms, a bar, and a subterranean fitness/business area. These...

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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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