Wanda Gets Stacked

Wanda Tower under construction

For a building that doesn’t officially exist, there’s an awful lot of dirt being moved at 301 North Field Boulevard

The picture of the new 1,150-foot multi-use tower at 301 North Field Boulevard/375 East Wacker Drive is getting clearer.  No, new drawings haven’t surfaced.  But a very trusted little birdie who’s in a position to know things, and whom in the history of this blog has yet to lead us astray, has chirped a few sweet nothings into our tip line.

Drawing of the Wanda Tower at Lakeshore East

Drawing of the Wanda Tower at Lakeshore East, courtesy of the Wanda Group

We already knew the building was 89-stories tall.  That’s what Mr. Wanda told us through the press release issued by his company when it announced to the world that it would build Chicago’s third-tallest building in Lakeshore East.  But the size of the building has increased slightly, from an amorphous “1.4 million” square feet to a more specific 1,635,788 square feet.

The number of hotel rooms has also increased, from a previously announced 240 to a new number of 250.

Little Birdy also dropped this egg on us: A stacking diagram.

  • 89: Mechanical
  • 70-88: Ultra-luxe full-floor condominiums
  • 22ish-69: Condominiums
  • 2-21ish: Hotel
  • 1: Lobby (Upper Wacker Drive level)
  • B1-B5 Parking

Expect those numbers to change as we get closer to groundbreaking.  The plans are still in flux, but at least they’re starting to solidify.  Also, the floor counts have two sets of cultures to navigate.  A lot of modern skyscrapers in America still skip the 13th floor out of tradition or superstition.  Some have been known to skip 2, 3, even 20 or 30 floor numbers for marketing purposes.  The just-opened World Trade Center in New York is an offender here.

At the same time, a lot of Chinese skyscrapers skip a lot of floors because of a whole bunch of superstitions.  Floors containing the numbers four and eight are commonly left out, as well as some others.  Which floors end up included in the Wanda Tower remains to be seen.

Since we published our Wanda Tower update yesterday, I’ve received some notes of doubt about our claim that Chicago starchitect Jeanne Gang is the hand that’s rocking this cradle.  Doubters gotta doubt, but thanks to something shown to me by a separate birdy who also perched on our tip line, I’m sticking to my prediction that it’s the studs at Studio Gang running the wok at this Hunan palace.

There is a bit of a good news/bad news situation, though.  The bad news is the we hear construction won’t start until 2016 at the earliest.  That jives with the Wanda announcement of a 2018 opening.  The good news part is that it gives you plenty of time to save your pennies for one of those ultra-swank full-floor condominiums looking outward, and downward, at the Trump condos.

Location: 301 North Field Boulevard/375 East Wacker Drive, The Loop

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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