Slice of Life: Chicago’s Most Polite Out of Order Sign
Mar14

Slice of Life: Chicago’s Most Polite Out of Order Sign

Hotels are judged by the service they provide.  A polite bell hop can turn a three-star TripAdvisor review into a five-star TripAdvisor review. So, you’ll have to excuse the staff at the Swissôtel (323 East Wacker Drive) for being used to being deferential.  Even the “Out of Order” sign on a pedway door goes above and beyond to make sure the door doesn’t feel...

Read More
Slice of Life: The Chicago Riverwall
Mar11

Slice of Life: The Chicago Riverwall

Architecture buffs like to talk a lot about Chicago’s famous “Michigan Avenue Streetwall”—The flat expanse of brick, concrete, glass, and aluminum that lines the west side of Michigan Avenue through the Loop.  But what of the “Chicago Riverwall?” With Lakeshore East filling out, and the final gaps filling in along Wacker Drive, the tight line of buildings rimming the Chicago River is more than deserving...

Read More
Status Update: 111 West Wacker is Just One of the Guys
Feb14

Status Update: 111 West Wacker is Just One of the Guys

The facade of 111 West Wacker is pretty much in place, except for the part at the bottom that hides the parking garage.  But the part that 99% of people care about—the shiny, flashy top—appears to be done.  And now that it is, we can start to judge the successor to the 92-story Waterview Tower. In spite of fears from skyscraper nerds, the building actually doesn’t look bad at all.  Some worried that it would be too short and not...

Read More
Slice of Life: The Air Up There
Feb12

Slice of Life: The Air Up There

It turns out that you don’t have to wait until warmer weather for helicopter lifts in Chicago.  Our Gold Coast Spy shot these pictures of a helicopter lift at the intersection of Michigan and Wacker over the weekend.  No matter how many of these we see, it’s just something you can’t help but marvel at. This article is the result of photos sent in by someone just like you. If you see something interesting in your...

Read More
Status Update: 111 West Wacker Sets Itself Apart
Jan02

Status Update: 111 West Wacker Sets Itself Apart

As panels of skin continue to be applied to 111 West Wacker, we’re starting to see how the building will visually distinguish itself from its neighbors along the Chicago River. True to the early drawings from friends-of-the-blog Related Midwest, the building sports channels that wrap around the building’s corners.  It’s a nice touch in context. Since its neighbors at 77 West Wacker and the Leo Burnett Building (35...

Read More
Your OHC Photos: 333 Wacker
Oct29

Your OHC Photos: 333 Wacker

  If you took the Open House Chicago tour of 333 Wacker Drive, you may have run across Man_ofSteel manning the desk as a volunteer for the Chicago Architecture Foundation.  While he was there, he took this great photo of the 333 lobby. 333 is a 36-story curved tower from 1983 designed by Kohn Pederson Fox Associates.  It is widely praised for making efficient use of an awkwardly-shaped plot of land, and making a strong statement...

Read More
Your OHC Photos: Randolph Tower Part 2
Oct28

Your OHC Photos: Randolph Tower Part 2

Man_ofSteel sent in some more of his pictures from the 2013 Open House Chicago.  This one he took from the eaves and high places of the Randolph Tower (188 West Randolph Street).  It shows nearby neighbor 225 West Wacker, the unmistakably postmodern KPF building on the Chicago River. This little corner of The Loop is starting to come back to life, with new businesses opening, a new office building planned, and scuttlebutt of other...

Read More
111 West Wacker Gets The Doughnut Treatment
Jul12

111 West Wacker Gets The Doughnut Treatment

Around here we like our skyscrapers the way we like our doughnuts — Fully glazed.  And thanks to a tip from Loop Spy Ryan, we see that the skyscraper formerly known as the Waterview Tower is finally getting its glazing. For months, a group of different glass panels have hung on a corner of 111 West Wacker as its new owner (friends-of-the-blog, Related Midwest) figured out what looked and worked best for the project it restarted....

Read More
Chicago’s New “Gateway” Both a Massive Success and Much Ado About Nothing
Jun19

Chicago’s New “Gateway” Both a Massive Success and Much Ado About Nothing

  What does it take to get Mayor Rahm Emmanuel to show up at an event, dozens of press releases, articles in the city’s newspapers, and notices in pretty much every neighborhood publication on the internet?  A bunch of picnic tables. That’s pretty much what The Gateway is — an event heralded by the Chicago Loop Alliance, CDOT, and the Mayor’s Office as if it was some spectacular accomplishment in placemaking...

Read More
Status Update: GEMS Academy at Lakeshore East Now Under Construction
Jun17

Status Update: GEMS Academy at Lakeshore East Now Under Construction

Lakeshore East’s controversial private school has broken ground. GEMS Academy is putting up two school buildings in the downtown enclave near the southwest corner of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan.  The first, now officially under construction, will be nine-stories, faces East South Water Street, and is for the K-4 students. The second building, behind the first on East Wacker Drive, will be 16 stories tall, and have...

Read More