Briefly: Here Comes Pete, Block37, Rapid Buses


  • The Chicago Architecture Foundation has started a new web site to help students who are interested in architecture.  According to the press release, “, an online tool that guides students through the architectural process on real-world design projects, with feedback and assistance from architects and engineers from across the country.”
  • In other news, the Chicago Architecture Foundation has, for the first time, acknowledged that we exist.
  • Hollywood & Highland Center

    The Hollywood & Highland Center from our sister web site, Southland Architecture.

    Block37 has been sold.  After being wrested from its developer, Bank of America has turned the keys over to the same Los Angeles company that owns the very interesting Hollywood & Highland Center mall in L.A.  Hopefully it will bring some of that West Coast showmanship back to the Midwest.

  • Groundbreaking for the Pete’s Fresh supermarket on the West Side is this weekend.  This project has been in the works for the long time, and helps remedy one of the city’s most notorious food deserts.  11:00am Saturday at the corner of West Madison Street and North Western Avenue.
  • The city has pieced together $14 million to convert portions of Madison, Washington, Clinton, and Canal Streets into “Bus Rapid Transit” routes.  If you’ve ever tried taking the #151 bus from Union Station, you know it can take upwards of 30 minutes to get to Michigan Avenue, and I have personally beaten a #14 bus on foot walking at a casual pace between State Street and the Chicago River.
  • Crain’s Chicago Business reports that Del Frisco’s Double Eagle, a Texas-based steakhouse chain, will open in the former Esquire Theater building at 58 East Oak Street. Remarkably, the restaurant will take up all of the second and third floors, and most of the first floor.
  • We first came across the Ramova Theater (3518 South Halsted) about a year ago.  Boarded up, and stinking of mold, the movie house was once a palace.  Now, according to the Chicago Tribune, there are new plans to revive the Bridgeport landmark.
  • The landmark Chicago Board of Trade Building (141 West Jackson Boulevard) is for sale, again according to the Trib.
  • FitzGerald Associates sends over word that it’s working on a new loft conversion project in the South Loop.  The old Vesta Accumulator building at 21st and Indiana will become 54 apartments.  Check out the cool old photo of the building on FitzGerald’s web site.
  • Another Chicago mayor wants to speed up the trains between downtown and the airports.  WFLD has the story.  Irony: Former Continental airlines employees from Houston who moved to Chicago in the merger with United are complaining about the train trips.  These are people who just came from a city that doesn’t have a train either of its airports, and that recently cancelled its express bus service to the airports.

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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