Slice of Life: This is How We Fish in Chicago
Apr25

Slice of Life: This is How We Fish in Chicago

It seems that wherever there’s water, there’s someone with a stick and a string angling for dinner. We’ve seen lots of urban fishermen in Chicago, sometimes in unlikely places.  From the edge of Navy Pier to the lagoon behind the Museum of Science and Industry to the stagnant ick near Bubbly Creek where the Illinois and Michigan Canal used to hook up to the Chicago River. But this is the first time we’ve seen...

Read More
Cattails And Cobras Battle For Supremacy In Logan Square
Apr22

Cattails And Cobras Battle For Supremacy In Logan Square

Cattails And Cobras Battle For Supremacy In Logan Square First off, I’m not referring to a Logan Square community theater remake of “West Side Story.” It’s about streetlights. The Cattail Streetlight Project is one component of a master plan to balance asthetics, green technology and historic preservation in Logan Square. It was also the subject of an AIA Chicago-sponsored presentation at the Logan Square Comfort Station Tuesday...

Read More
Elevated, Serpentine “Underbridge” Will Connect Two North Side Parks
Apr21

Elevated, Serpentine “Underbridge” Will Connect Two North Side Parks

It’s both instructive and fascinating to listen to a master designer talk about the creative process. A good example is Andrew L. Metter, Epstein’s principal designer. Metter described a number of recent projects last week during an AIA presentation. Epstein has a philosophy of creating a sustainable world, and Metter’s work illustrates that concept. He tries to find opportunities for regeneration in urban planning and design...

Read More
River North to Sprout Chicago’s Newest Residential Skyscraper
Apr21

River North to Sprout Chicago’s Newest Residential Skyscraper

Another piece of the former Montgomery Ward complex in River North is going to be redeveloped. Over the Easter weekend, 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly e-mailed his constituents letting them know about a residential tower called The Hudson proposed for 750 North Hudson Avenue. The message was a little short on details, but we did a little digging and know a few things. This is the northern half of the block just east of the former...

Read More
Remote Control Crawler Hefts Recycled Chicago Bridge Into Place
Apr20

Remote Control Crawler Hefts Recycled Chicago Bridge Into Place

An unmanned, electronically-controlled hydraulic device provided the brawn Saturday afternoon to place the former Ashland Avenue Bridge over Western Avenue. It’s a key piece of the patchwork improvements of The 606 (aka “Bloomingdale Trail”) project. Walsh Construction worker bees scurried to and fro around the bridge preparing its intricate movement into place. The bridge started its journey to its new home in the early morning hours...

Read More
Status Update: Raising Franklin
Apr20

Status Update: Raising Franklin

Riding past North Franklin Street on Good Friday I saw great big red crane pieces being assembled for the new hotel going up at number 28.  Alas, the CTA’s #20 bus is a relentless beast and I wasn’t able to get a picture of the activity. Fortunately, Loop Spy Ryan saw it too, and sent in this photo of the assembled crane rising from the middle of the block. When completed, the hotel will be 18 stories tall and bear the...

Read More
Slice of Life: Do You Even Lift?
Apr18

Slice of Life: Do You Even Lift?

The 2014 bridge lift season begins tomorrow.  The photo below was sent in by a Gold Coast Spy showing CDOT inspectors inspecting the Columbus Drive Bridge over the Chicago River.  Also check out the video above by Ryan Jacobs, with time-lapses of several of Chicago’s moving bridges in action. For drivers who want to avoid, or photographers who want to shoot the bridges in action, here’s the schedule through June, 2014:...

Read More
Slice of Life: Reflecting on Chicago
Apr18

Slice of Life: Reflecting on Chicago

If you haven’t been up to the observatory at the John Hancock Center (875 North Michigan Avenue) lately, you may not know that as part of recent renovations, the ceiling has been mirrored. It helps fill the deck with natural light, and also helps make it feel a little taller than it is.  But more importantly, you can take cool pictures with...

Read More
Here We Grow Again! Big Curving Tower Coming to Halsted Corridor
Apr15

Here We Grow Again! Big Curving Tower Coming to Halsted Corridor

  How hot is the downtown Chicago residential market?  So hot it could have a physicist explain it on the television show Nova.  The P.B.S. version, not the weak Fox reboot. To wit, the new residential tower proposed for the corner of West Lake Street and North Halsted Street in West Town.  Crain’s Chicago Business has the scoopage on the building currently known as 171 North Halsted, and says it’s a joint project...

Read More
Downtown Dairy Depot to Become Hip Hostel Hotel
Apr15

Downtown Dairy Depot to Become Hip Hostel Hotel

One of the great things about Chicago buildings is that not only do they inspire us to look to the future, but many of them are also ties to the city’s past. One of  our favorites is the old Borden Dairy Depot at 312 West Chestnut Street, hard against the CTA Brown Line tracks snaking through River North. The building is narrow and runs the entire length of the block between Chestnut Street and West Locust Street.  Cook County...

Read More