Zombie Building Thrusts a Clenched Fist from its West Loop Grave


In Chicago, projects come and projects go.  And one of those projects that we’d long ago given up for dead is back from the grave.

Drawing of 625 West Adams courtesy of SCB

Drawing of 625 West Adams courtesy of SCB

Broadly known as Old Saint Pat’s Tower, 625 West Adams was a plan for a modest office building that came complete with meeting space for the venerable church, and some of the fiercest NIMBY opposition since SOAR heard the phrase “Canyon Ranch.”

This, however, is the West Loop, and beyond even SOAR’s inflated imaginary jurisdiction.  Still the people living in nearby buildings put up one heck of a kicking and screaming match fearing they would lose their views, and gain Archimedes Death Ray.

You see, the land where this office building is proposed is owned by Old Saint Patrick’s Church.  And a lot of the people living nearby claim they only bought their condominiums because they thought that nothing could be built on this plot taller than the current O.S.P. church.  It’s a pretty widely held notion in the West Loop, so it appears that either real estate agents (*gasp*) lied to these people, or what we have here is a classic case of mass hysteria.

It was two years ago that the city gave its blessing to the construction of a 24-story building at this location.  Since then, we’ve heard nothing.  Until today, just in time for Halloween, when it was reported that CA Ventures is interested in grabbing a bunch of shovels and making this project undead.  Who reported it?  Say it like a zombie would… “Craaaaaaaains!”

The Crain’s Chicago Business report shows a building almost identical to the one already approved, so it’s entirely possible that construction could begin without any public input, since the former development team went through that drama three years ago.

It’s been a long time since this building was approved, and you have a short memory, so here’s a refresher about the building and what the city approved in July of 2012:

  • Roof height: 320 feet (does not include mechanical penthouse)
  • Floors: 24 (includes mezzanine level and mechanical penthouse)
  • 13th floor? Yes
  • Width: 199 feet
  • Length: 272 feet
  • Parking: 186 spaces
  • Loading docks: 4
  • Maximum buildable area: 709,390 square feet
  • Green roof alert! 17,198 square feet
  • Vault in the basement to hold storm water and release it gently into the sewer system

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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