Old Saint Patrick’s Tower Gets City Blessing

Drawing of the proposed Old Saint Patrick's Tower at 625 West Adams Street

It’s been exactly one year to the day since we heard any noise about the West Loop skyscraper being built for Old Saint Patrick’s Church.  We’re about to hear a lot more noise from it.

That’s because the city has approved the 20-story building that will have commercial offices and parking over two floors of retail and church space.  REJournals had the scoop on this one.

We covered this project, now known plainly as 625 West Adams, extensively when it was still being formed.  The neighbors though it was ugly, worried about it blocking their views, making traffic worse, and all of the usual things that people say negative about skyscrapers other than the ones they live in.  There were two points of difference with this tower, though.

First, a lot of people worried that the reflected setting sun would be a problem.  Apparently the nearby Heller International Building (500 West Monroe Street) acts as something of an Archimedes Death Ray to local condominiums. Building architect, and friend of the blog, Martin Wolf addressed that by changing the glass.

The second complaint of note was that some people were told by their real estate agents that since the surface parking lot now at 625 West Adams Street is owned by Old Saint Patrick’s Church that it would never be developed into anything larger than another church.

We all heard real estate agents tell some whoppers in order to move homes during the bubble, and this sounds like it was a fairly common lie in this neighborhood.

Regardless of what happened then, the reality is that this tower is ready to begin construction, once the developers get an anchor tenant.  The people at The Edge and Haberdasher Square Lofts can enjoy their views until then.

Author: Editor

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

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