CBS-Site Skyscrapers Sidelined

It looks like plans for a pair of skyscrapers at the location of the former historic CBS Building (630 North McClurg Court) aren’t going to develop.

The 1922 building, which served as a horse stable and a skating rink before hosting the world’s first televised presidential debate, was razed last year and is now nothing more than a flat field of crushed brick and mortar.  CBS has since moved its radio and television broadcast studios to Block37 (22 West Washington Street).

There have been long-standing plans for two residential towers to sprout at this location, filling in a gap in the dense Streeterville skyscraper forest.  One was going to be 625-feet-tall, the other 695.  Both towers would be built atop a 10-story parking and retail podium.

The process has started to change the zoning on this block to “Downtown Mixed Use District,” which likely means that any towers built here would not exceed 35 stories, not the 53 and 56-stories previously planned for this location. (It is possible we’ve miscalculated this.  Corrections are welcome.)

Alderman Reilly’s office states that the plot is going to be sold, so it remains to be seen what the new owner will do.

In our opinion, the property would better serve the immediate community as a part.  Or as at least half of its surface area reserved for public access greenspace.  Streeterville continues to suffer from a dearth of neighborhood greenspace, and this summer’s heat has left many longing for a local option for a little outdoor peace, instead of having to slog it out with the tourists and visitors from other neighborhoods who clog the lakefront.

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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