New Pictures of Proposed Lakeshore East Tower

An interesting skyscraper rendering popped up on the internet recently.  It was first spotted in the wild on the web site of Crain’s Chicago Business on April 29th in a slideshow of upcoming apartment buildings.

Image courtesy of Brininstool, Kerwin and Lynch

The slideshow was a sidebar for an article updating the status of the Catalyst residential building proposed for the West Loop.  It included a largely unseen rendering of a building along Upper East Wacker Drive, east of the Swisshôtel (323 East Wacker Drive).

This caused a lot of chatter among architecture fans on the internet over the weekend, because prior to the Crain’s publication, renderings of what’s intended for 345 East Wacker Drive had rarely been seen.  In fact, a Google search on the address turns up no matches from reputable web sites.

It is understandable that many people would believe that this was a previously unannounced skyscraper for Lakeshore East, because a building matching this size, shape, and location doesn’t exist on Magellan Development’s web pages for Lakeshore East.  In addition, BKL is not listed on the Magellan Development web site as one of the architects for the mega project.  Lowenberg Architects is the architect of record for this building, though the building itself is still not listed in the Lakeshore East credits.

Image courtesy of Brininstool, Kerwin and Lynch

It turns out that while this building isn’t new, it’s still new-ish.  It was mentioned in the August 16, 2010 edition of The Architect’s Newspaper.  Back then, it was just a brief mention that BKL is working on it.  The article also mentions that Magellan is a BKL investor.

According to BKL’s web site, the design was only completed in the last couple of months.  Here are the juicy bits:

  • 49 stories
  • 499 residences
  • 647,000 square feet total
  • 18,000 square feet retail
  • Like its neighbors (The Tides, The Shoreham, The Swisshôtel), parking is above ground, but below Upper Wacker Drive.
  • The facade is glass and aluminum.
  • There are balconies, they are recessed to create a smooth face.
  • Unlike its neighbors that have the outdoor amenities high up on the 16th floor, the amenity deck is below Wacker Drive, but isolated from the noisy roadway since the deck faces Lakeshore East Park.



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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