Here We Grow!  Vista Tower Gets Full Construction Permit for All 95 Stories
May12

Here We Grow! Vista Tower Gets Full Construction Permit for All 95 Stories

The biggest thing to hit Chicago’s skyline since the Aon Center is about to become a reality. The City of Chicago has issued a full building permit for the Vista Tower in Lakeshore East (363 East Wacker Drive). Take a slurp of coffee and a deep breath and enjoy the OMG: CONSTRUCTION AND BUILD-OUT OF LEVEL 1 TO LEVEL 95 OF PROPOSED 95-STORY MIXED USE BUILDING Now just let that settle in… ahh. The tower will be the...

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Willis Ups the Ante in the Battle of Chicago Observatories
Mar24

Willis Ups the Ante in the Battle of Chicago Observatories

If cats could vote in travel magazine polls, chances are they’d make Chicago the #1 city they’d want to visit.  If you’re a cat owner, you already know why: Cats love to go to high places and look down on everyone else.  And Chicago has no shortage of perfect public perches. One of those perches has announced plans it hopes will sway people to choose its lofty heights over the competing options.  It’s the...

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$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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Stick a Skyline in Someone’s Stocking
Nov18

Stick a Skyline in Someone’s Stocking

When looking for Christmas gifts for the architecture enthusiast in your life, Legos have been a go-to staple for decades.  Now there’s a new reason to risk stepping on the little bricklets while walking around the house barefoot in the middle of the night. The company that makes the best thing to come out of Denmark since diminutive sea brides has announced that it’s putting out a new Lego set about Chicago....

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The Permit That Makes You Proud to be a Chicagoan
Oct13

The Permit That Makes You Proud to be a Chicagoan

If you’ve ever lived for a time in a city like Seattle, or Los Angeles, or Phoenix, you may have noticed that in spite of all the movies and TV shows showcasing Chicago, outlanders don’t get that our town has huge buildings that put their withered downtowns to shame. So it’s nice every once in a while to see confirmation of our superior status in print. And not just in some blog or hopelessly glossy magazine. But in...

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No More Talkin’ ‘Bout “Willis” — Two Chicago Skyscraper Icons Due for Name Changes: ST
May23

No More Talkin’ ‘Bout “Willis” — Two Chicago Skyscraper Icons Due for Name Changes: ST

Two of Chicago’s tallest skyscrapers are getting new names — Names that don’t even belong to companies in them, according to the Sun-Times. Extraordinarily well-connected columnist Michael Sneed reports that both the John Hancock Center (875 North Michigan Avenue) and the Willis Tower (233 South Wacker Drive) are close to inking deals that would give naming rights to third-party companies, with headquarters elsewhere. The...

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Will Aon Center be Chicago’s Next Skyscraper to Sport an Observation Deck?
Jul06

Will Aon Center be Chicago’s Next Skyscraper to Sport an Observation Deck?

  Better late than never, Chicago’s third-tallest building may soon get into the observation deck business.  Crain’s Chicago Business reports that some of the potential new owners of the Aon Center at 200 East Randolph Street want to open the upper reaches of the stately skyscraper to the public. The 83-story building in Chicago’s New Eastside is currently for sale, and expected to fetch well in excess of...

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Chicago’s Tallest Building Fetches $1.3 Billion [updated]
Mar16

Chicago’s Tallest Building Fetches $1.3 Billion [updated]

The tallest building in Chicago has a new owner. MarketWatch, the news web site owned by Dow Jones, broke the news that the Blackstone finished up negotiations over the weekend to buy the Willis Tower (233 South Wacker Drive) for $1.3 billion. It’s the highest price ever paid for a building not in New York City. The good news is that Blackstone tells MarketWatch it actually plans to invest money into the iconic tower, returning...

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Near the Top of Willis Tower, Lunch With a View Awaits Members Of The Metropolitan Club
Nov25

Near the Top of Willis Tower, Lunch With a View Awaits Members Of The Metropolitan Club

When you think about it, the skyscraper offers an awe-inspiring view for both the person looking up from street level, and of course, those who look down from above. The view from up on high is definitely dramatic—even if you’re not at the very top. Take for example, the Metropolitan Club on the 66th and 67th floors of the Willis Tower (233 South Wacker Drive). It’s only two-thirds of the way up, but the Chicago skyline from that...

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It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, 2012 – Part 13
Dec18

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, 2012 – Part 13

The Wrigley Building (400 North Michigan Avenue) is making the most of its new LED lighting.  Instead of just being flood-lit in white, for the last six months or so, the upper reaches have been bathed in different colors for various events.  Now that it’s Christmas season, it’s been red and green, except for on World AIDS Day when it went all red. It’s nice to have the Wrigley Building join two other Chicago...

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