High Above The West Loop Skyline, A Remnant Of The Past: Water Tanks
Apr30

High Above The West Loop Skyline, A Remnant Of The Past: Water Tanks

You may not see too many tourists from Iowa rushing past the Willis Tower to take pictures of the Chicago’s ancient water tanks. I don’t recall the tanks making the cut on the Architectural Foundation Loop walking tours, either. For that matter, travel brochures nearly always bypass water tanks in favor of The Bean. I wonder, are water tanks the Rodney Dangerfield of Chicago structures? They certainly embody the...

Read More
Proposed Near West Condo Project Has Residents Feeling Like They Got Hit By the Ol’ Switcheroo
Apr30

Proposed Near West Condo Project Has Residents Feeling Like They Got Hit By the Ol’ Switcheroo

Alderman Danny Solis (25th Ward) hosted his first Near West Side community meeting last night at the Merit School of Music and he heard firsthand how protective the neighborhood’s residents are about green space, parking and density. The subject of the gathering was a proposed residential building at 200 South Green Street between Jackson and Adams, on what is now a surface parking lot on the western border of Greektown. The...

Read More
New Loop Skyscraper Means Batman Will Have to Find Somewhere Else to Park
Apr29

New Loop Skyscraper Means Batman Will Have to Find Somewhere Else to Park

The parking garage that played a supporting role in the movie Batman Begins may be torn down to make room for a new office tower. The garage at 200 West Randolph Street  got an extensive makeover when movie producers used it for a number of scenes in the film Batman Begins in the summer of 2004. It is in this garage that the Batmobile has a chase with police, bursts through a concrete wall and onto the roof of a neighboring building,...

Read More
A Historic Look at the Changing Leaves on the Wells Street Bridge
Apr26

A Historic Look at the Changing Leaves on the Wells Street Bridge

The year-long project of replacing the Wells Street Bridge over the main branch of the Chicago River reaches another critical phase this weekend. The north leaf of the the double-decker bascule bridge will be replaced with a brand new 2,100-ton leaf, constructed off-site and floated into place a couple of weeks ago. The removal of the northern half of the span means that CTA trains won’t be able to cross it from 10pm tonight...

Read More
Status Update: AMLI Clark & Polk
Apr24

Status Update: AMLI Clark & Polk

With AMLI River North (71 West Hubbard Street) at its maximum height and rapidly approaching completion, it’s time to turn out attention to another AMLI project going up in the South Loop: AMLI Clark & Polk (800 South Clark Street), formerly known as AMLI Lofts. Pile driving for the foundation has been going on for a couple of weeks now, and should continue through the beginning of May according to Ed Schuster, the project...

Read More
The Glessner House: How Forward-Thinking Homeowners Helped a Revolutionary Architect Make His Mark in Chicago
Apr22

The Glessner House: How Forward-Thinking Homeowners Helped a Revolutionary Architect Make His Mark in Chicago

“It looks like an old jail,” one lady commented. “It takes courage to build a house like that,” said another. “Which church is this?” a passerby inquired. “I don’t like it and wish it was not there,” complained neighbor George Pullman, who felt himself cursed by the daily sight of the John J. Glessner House (1800 South Prairie Avenue). Amidst the Gilded Age splendor that was...

Read More
Earth Day in Chicago: Moving Design And Chicago Conservation Corps Volunteers Celebrate Their Green Ideas
Apr22

Earth Day in Chicago: Moving Design And Chicago Conservation Corps Volunteers Celebrate Their Green Ideas

An Earth Day 2013 quick quiz: How long does it take a banana peel to decompose? How long for a plastic jug? (Answers at the end of this article.) Chicagoans produce 7.6 million tons of trash each year and an average family of four uses about 400 gallons of water each day. The local volunteer organizations Moving Design and Chicago Conservation Corps saw these sobering statistics as an opportunity to raise awareness about...

Read More
Architectural Advocacy Group Lobbies for “Chicago’s 7”
Apr19

Architectural Advocacy Group Lobbies for “Chicago’s 7”

For over a decade, Preservation Chicago has worked to protect the city’s historic icons of architecture as well as its original urban centers and neighborhoods. The advocacy group was founded in 2000 and has since formed various partnerships, lobbied for public policy changes, and hosted educational events, all aimed at preserving original Chicago architecture. To generate awareness, the group publishes an annual list, titled...

Read More
Hotel, Casino or Obama Library?  Reese Hospital Options Criticized as Inappropriate, Not Grand Enough
Apr18

Hotel, Casino or Obama Library? Reese Hospital Options Criticized as Inappropriate, Not Grand Enough

The third community meeting to discuss the fate of the Michael Reese Hospital site was held last evening at West Point Missionary Baptist Church (3566 South Cottage Grove Avenue), with an overflow crowd of Bronzeville and South Loop residents offering support, criticism and in one case, a Roger Ebert-grade Big Thumbs Down. Fourth Ward Alderman William D. Burns led off the meeting and introduced representatives from the city’s...

Read More
New 1333 South Wabash Plan Is Bigger, Smaller, Wider, Less Shiny
Apr17

New 1333 South Wabash Plan Is Bigger, Smaller, Wider, Less Shiny

The new developers of the property at 1333 South Wabash have come up with a new proposal for what was approved by the city five years ago to be a 268-apartment skyscraper in the South Loop. The new plan increases the number of apartments to 307 units, but only increases the height of the tower six feet to about 276 feet tall. How does Brininstool+Lynch plan to accomplish this magic for the developer — the...

Read More