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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Status Update: Tunnel Vision in the West Loop
Nov19

Status Update: Tunnel Vision in the West Loop

The train tunnel that is an integral part of the River Point development (444 West Lake Street) is chugging toward completion. We got to see the inside of the tunnel a few days ago, and the thing that struck us most was how clean and well lit it is.  But with hundreds of massive diesel engines lumbering through each day, don’t expect it to stay that way. Our Fulton River Spy sent in this picture yesterday, showing progress on...

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City Wants Nearly $1 Billion Facility Linking Metra Rail With O’Hare [updated]
Jun18

City Wants Nearly $1 Billion Facility Linking Metra Rail With O’Hare [updated]

The City of Chicago has unveiled ambitious plans for a $884 million transportation hub next to O’Hare International Airport. In order to make it a reality, the city needs a $242 million loan from the U.S. Department of Transportation.  Considering that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was in town last week to announce that the city is welcome to apply for the money, there’s a pretty good chance it will happen. If...

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Week Links: February 17-23, 2013
Feb24

Week Links: February 17-23, 2013

Here’s what else is going up around Chicago: DNAInfo reports that the developer who wants to put up a $220 million project in Uptown is ready to compromise on affordable housing. DNAInfo also has pictures of the proposed new Metra station in Edgewater. Early this week, the TV stations all ran stories that a new hotel was coming to McCormick Place.  There have been lots of hotel proposals for McCormick Place lately, but because...

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Will a Scrawnier Wolf Get Everyone on Point?
Nov05

Will a Scrawnier Wolf Get Everyone on Point?

The current champion for largest and most controversial development in downtown Chicago (that actually has a chance of happening) is making its way through the approval process largely unscathed. Wolf Point (350 North Orleans Street) is the lupine child of Houston-based global mega-developer Hines, and Chicago-based local really-wanna-be-huge-someday developer Magellan.  Their architect, Pelli Clarke Pelli has made some changes to the...

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Slice of Life: Ravinia’s Historic Railroad Station
Sep21

Slice of Life: Ravinia’s Historic Railroad Station

The Ravinia station on Metra’s Union Pacific-North line from Chicago to Kenosha, Wisconsin stands as a stately steward of the rails and trains that pass before it. While there are plenty of recently built and rebuilt Metra stations that look similar, this one is the real deal.  Built in 1889 and designed by Frost and Granger, it is the oldest surviving station on Metra’s northern and northwestern corridors. Today Ravinia...

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Union Station Master Plan Finished
Jun01

Union Station Master Plan Finished

The Union Station Master Plan has been completed, and it doesn’t look all that much different from the proposals put forth by Amtrak, Metra, and the Chicago Department of Transportation at the beginning of the process last year. First, a little background – Union Station is a mess.  Short-sightedness on the part of people in the 1960′s who thought that passenger rail service in America was dying led to infrastructure...

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More on River Point [Update 2]
May17

More on River Point [Update 2]

Just a few hours after we published our article about River Point (444 West Lake Street), the new office tower expected to break ground soon at the confluence of the Chicago River and its north branch, Hines sent along a press release about the project. Here are the juicy bits: Construction start: Before the end of the year. Construction finish: 2016 Architect: Pickard Chilton Size: 850,000 square feet Environmental: It was...

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Week Links: May 11, 2012
May11

Week Links: May 11, 2012

If you’ve spent any time on the south end of Chicago’s financial district, you’ve probably been asked by someone for directions to the Metra LaSalle Street Station.  Grid Chicago has a good write-up about why the LaSalle Street Station is so hard to find. Lanvin is getting ready for its Chicago debut.  Our Gold Coast spy sent along a picture of the artwork now adorning its windows on Oak Street. Spotted: Former Mayor...

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (2011 edition, part 16)
Dec22

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (2011 edition, part 16)

The great hall of Union Station (210 South Canal Street) is all decked out for Christmas.  Whether it’s little ones under a pine tree, or big ones delivering loved ones to a new city, there’s something about trains and Christmas that just go together. Did you enjoy this article? Click to give the author a few...

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