$500 Million Willis Tower Rehab Will Transform Existing Space And Add Outdoor Deck
Feb01

$500 Million Willis Tower Rehab Will Transform Existing Space And Add Outdoor Deck

The Blackstone Group today announced a massive $500 million rehab of the venerable Willis Tower. The iconic skyscraper will get a major facelift, reconfiguring nearly 460,000 square feet of existing space. Work will commence this month, modernizing the tower and creating 2,500 jobs in the process. Highlights of the rehab will be a new three-story transparent, glass structure above the existing stone plaza. Under the façade, three...

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Wave a Tiny Flag For Chicago’s Limestone Leviathan
Oct10

Wave a Tiny Flag For Chicago’s Limestone Leviathan

As you commute in and out of the city on the Eisenhower Expressway, you may feel your heart skip a beat when you notice tiny workmen climbing around scaffolding clinging to the Old Main Post Office like some kind of post-apocalyptic game of Donkey Kong.  But don’t rush home to tell the wife and kids that the decades-dead building has finally come to life again. Last Wednesday the city issued a permit for facade repairs: EXTERIOR...

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Big Names, High Hopes for Chicago Union Station Redevelopment
Sep14

Big Names, High Hopes for Chicago Union Station Redevelopment

The redevelopment of Chicago Union Station and the surrounding properties continues to creep along like a  Hiawatha Service train a stuck behind yet another Canadian National freight mess. The latest bit of news is that Amtrak has narrowed down the list of developers (well, developer groups) to just four.  Not surprisingly, the developers are mostly deep-pocketed heavy hitters.  But we’re additionally pleased by the high caliber...

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Neighbor News: Oak Park’s Newest Skyscraper Now Open
Aug10

Neighbor News: Oak Park’s Newest Skyscraper Now Open

Promising the best of city life, without having to leave the suburbs, Vantage Oak Park is now open in the western suburb. The 21-story residential tower — designed by Gensler for Golub, Wood Partners and the village — is on Lake Street, Oak Park’s main drag, at Forest Avenue and features 270 residences above 588 parking spaces and 25,000 square feet of retail. If that seems like a lot of parking, you’re right. But only 288 are for the...

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Dissecting What’s New at McDonald’s: Its Headquarters Building
Jun28

Dissecting What’s New at McDonald’s: Its Headquarters Building

If you were alive in the 1970’s, you probably remember the correct way to build a Big Mac for McDonald’s is “two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun.”  But how do you construct a building for McDonald’s? That’s why we’re taking a closer look at the new McDonald’s Corporate Headquarters coming to 1058 West Washington Boulevard in West...

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Fulton West to Transform West Fulton Site
Apr06

Fulton West to Transform West Fulton Site

When is new construction not new construction? When someone sees fit to take an existing structure, and transform it into something new. Such is the case with Fulton West. Developer Sterling Bay is taking over an existing parking structure at 1330 West Fulton Street in West Town and turning it into a nine-story, 290,000-square-foot office building. Designed by Grant Uhlir, a principal and co[managing director at Gensler’s...

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Change Comes From Within at the New Ability Institute Building
Apr04

Change Comes From Within at the New Ability Institute Building

At first glance, there’s not much to see at the new Ability Institute Building at 355 East Erie Street, soon to be home of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.  That’s because exterior work is pretty much wrapped up, and all of the action is happening inside.  According to a construction update from senior vice president Nancy Paridy: The building structure and enclosure are substantially complete. The East and South...

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Whole Foods Building Whole Other Store
Mar10

Whole Foods Building Whole Other Store

Construction is well underway on the new Whole Foods Market at 3201 North Ashland Avenue in the Lakeview neighborhood. Novak Construction, your developer and general contractor, broke ground on the former LaSalle Bank site back in November. The Gensler-designed project will include the 70,000-square-foot store, and parking on the lower level and first floor. No word yet as to whether or not the new store will incorporate the vaults...

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AIA Chicago Awards Recognize Top Architects At 60th Annual Designight
Oct26

AIA Chicago Awards Recognize Top Architects At 60th Annual Designight

AIA Chicago recognized outstanding architecture and architects on Friday, Oct. 23 at Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom during the 60th annual Design Excellence Awards ceremony. The celebration–known as Designight–was a celebration of the best of the best in architecture. It included 36 awards for projects in four categories: Distinguished Building, Interior Architecture, Divine Detail, and a new 10-Year Award recognizing a...

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Ten Design Details: The Sullivan Center And Its Famous Cast-Iron Façade
Oct12

Ten Design Details: The Sullivan Center And Its Famous Cast-Iron Façade

Most Target stores are boxy ho-hum affairs alongside similar boring suburban buildings. Not so the store at 1 South State Street in the Loop. This is a building with character, history and unique design elements. But then, you’d expect no less from a structure designed by Adler and Sullivan, and touch-ups by John Vinci. During the Chicago Architecture Biennial opening weekend, Preservation Chicago offered a unique look at the former...

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