Construction Update
AIOTRIOC (Ability Institute of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago)

Ability Institute under construction

The Streeterville block that brought Chicago M*A*S*H and Chicago Hope will soon be full of actual doctors doing actual amazing things, and not just people playing doctors on TV. Our Daniel Schell recently wheeled by the rising Ability Institute of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago going up at 355 East Erie Street, on the site of what used to be the CBS Building.

And while it’s great to see a vacant lot turned into a gleaming skyscraper, it’s turning out to be just a little more plain than expected.  Hopefully it will be nice when it’s done, but right now it looks like 200 North Michigan, Optima Tower, 500 Lake Shore Drive, and about ten thousand other office buildings around the world.

Here’s the latest construction update from the RIC:

The concrete core has been completed to level 28, steel is being erected on level 27, concrete deck pours are ongoing through level 19, and exterior windows are being completed up to level 10. Over the next month, we will continue steel erection, concrete deck pours and window installation. In addition, interior build outs will begin on levels 10 and 11.

As a reminder, full construction work and manpower levels (between 250 to 350 workers) continues to take place Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. As is customary with Chicago construction, some activity occurs outside of these hours, such as: mobilization and setup, deliveries, refuse removal, necessary equipment repairs, weather protection, temporary heating, concrete finishing, and concrete prep or rough-in work. In addition, there will continue to be regular, permitted activities occurring on Sundays. On average, the number of workers will be approximately 30 individuals. Sunday activities may include: tower crane and hoist work (erection, repair, dismantlement and jumps), special lifts or deliveries, utility work, street closures, weather protection, fireproofing, etc. This type of work will continue until the building is enclosed, which we anticipate will be early this summer. Whenever reasonably possible, we will send a notice of such Sunday activities.

Although the days are getting longer, you may still notice the building lighting. The site is illuminated for safety purposes during loading/unloading operations, arrivals, departures and regular work hours. The majority of lights are shielded and controlled by a timer to minimize the neighborhood impact as much as possible. We continue to monitor the shields and timers, and make adjustments where feasible. A portion of the lighting (i.e., stairs, etc.) is required to be on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for life safety in the event of an emergency.

Location: 355 East Erie Street, Streeterville

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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