The Ability Institute of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (355 East Erie Street) is looking more and more like a skyscraper, and less and less like a steampunk nightmare, every day.
The Chicago Architecture Blog‘s Daniel Schell stopped by recently and took these photographs of the building’s progress. It’s hard to remember that this used to be the home of CBS radio and television in Chicago, and was the historic location of the world’s first televised presidential debate. Before that, the building was used as a skating rink, and as a stable for horses.
Now, with the sweep of the bulldozer, the pouring of concrete, and a half-billion dollars, the slate has been wiped clean for a new building rising 400+ feet into the Streeterville skyline, with 1.2 million square feet of space, five specialized rehabilitation labs, a sky garden, and conference center.
The building is up to its 20-somethingth floor, having eclipsed the parking garage next door. It’s also getting some glass on its lower floors, and on the north side of the building you can make out the channels and bays that will give it some flavor.
These days all the cool skyscrapers have time-lapse movies of their construction progress, and the RIC’s time lapse is so cool it has aviator sunglasses, big hair, and a pack of Luckies rolled up in its shirt sleeve. You can check out the movie here.