Plan to Replace Saint Dominic’s Church with Condominiums Revised
Mar31

Plan to Replace Saint Dominic’s Church with Condominiums Revised

We have long, and repeatedly, lamented the demise of Saint Dominic’s Church (357 West Locust Street) in the city’s Cabrini Green neighborhood.  The church was instrumental in taming a part of the city that grew up from the swamps as a lawless district of vice and poverty.  In an area so bad that for generations it was known as “Little Hell,” Saint Dominic’s was an oasis of faith, hope, and charity. Six...

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Status Update: The New Kid on the Block Working Hard to Fit In
Mar31

Status Update: The New Kid on the Block Working Hard to Fit In

Six months ago, an historic South Loop home spent two days as Chicago’s media darling because it did something that few homes ever do: It changed its address. The Rees House was hefted onto a massive dolly and ever-so-gently rolled down the street from 2110 South Prairie Avenue to its new, and current, home at 2017 South Prairie Avenue. It was an event that had something for everyone — big construction machines, police...

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Logan Square Still Riled Up Over Dual Towers [updated]
Mar30

Logan Square Still Riled Up Over Dual Towers [updated]

At the end of October of last year, we reported on the community meeting in Logan Square for a Dual Tower residential complex proposed by developer Rob Buono. Round Two of the public input process was held Monday night at Haas Park, with 1st Ward Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno once again presiding. The Alderman began this meeting, as he did the first, asking those in attendance for polite, orderly discourse, without bullying...

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Infographic: The World’s Greenest Buildings
Mar30

Infographic: The World’s Greenest Buildings

  Chicago is one of the pioneer cities when it comes to turning theories of eco-friendly buildings into city-scale reality, so there’s lots of interest in green building technology here.  And who doesn’t love an infographic?  It’s for those reasons that we pass this graphic along to you.  It was commissioned by an Irish window company, so the English is a little non-standard, but we won’t hold that against...

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Design With Company Named 2015 Ragdale Ring Winning Team With Shaw Town
Mar26

Design With Company Named 2015 Ragdale Ring Winning Team With Shaw Town

When Stewart Hicks and Allison Newmeyer began developing a concept for their Ragdale Ring entry, they found their inspiration in the person of Howard Van Doren Shaw. The outdoor theater at Ragdale was originally designed by Shaw in 1912. The Ragdale Ring competition allows design teams to reinterpret Shaw’s vision. That vision will come to life this summer under the direction of Hicks and Newmeyer, partners in the West Loop firm...

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ICYMI: London Guarantee Building Gets a New Flag
Mar26

ICYMI: London Guarantee Building Gets a New Flag

Here’s a little piece of news that may have flown under your radar if you’re not snuggled deeply in the 800-thread-count world of the hotel industry.  The new hotel being crafted inside the landmark London Guarantee Building (360 North Michigan Avenue) will be a Hilton. Earlier this month we reported that the new hotel would carry the name LondonHouse Hotel, a nod to livelier days when the London House jazzery still...

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A Second GEMS Ready To Sparkle in Lakeshore East
Mar25

A Second GEMS Ready To Sparkle in Lakeshore East

Phase two of the GEMS World Academy (355 East Wacker Drive) at Lakeshore East is officially underway.  Groundbreaking ceremonies were held Wednesday, as you can see in these photos supplied by friends-of-the-blog bKL Architecture, which designed both this building and the phase one GEMS building, which opened this past fall at 350 East South Water Street. The first GEMS building is an 82,000 square-foot technology and educational...

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Whole Foods West Loop Opens With Greek Influenced Design Touches
Mar25

Whole Foods West Loop Opens With Greek Influenced Design Touches

The West Loop today welcomed its newest anchor store—a 42,000 square foot Whole Foods at 1 North Halsted. It’s the third of seven new Whole Foods markets scheduled to open in Chicago this year. It also marks the reopening of the ground level space of Skybridge where Dominick’s was the previous tenant. Premium grocery stores tend to each have common design elements—like Treasure Island’s “we are the world” flag motif. Whole Foods...

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Status Update: Welcome to the Hotel Atari
Mar25

Status Update: Welcome to the Hotel Atari

  The Hilton Garden Inn at 66 East Wacker Place has reached its maximum height, and right now the facade is being buttoned up.  In the minds of vocal readers, it’s gone from bad to worse. We received a few messages from you disapproving of the building’s yellow exterior.  “Don’t worry, Fair Reader, that’s just insulation and such.  It’ll soon be covered in gray metal panels,” we told you....

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Status Update: Snow, Sleet Can’t Stop Skyscrapers
Mar25

Status Update: Snow, Sleet Can’t Stop Skyscrapers

While the entire Chicagoland transportation system collapsed under the weight of three inches of snow on Monday, construction workers kept banging away at 200 North Michigan Avenue. Loop Spy Daniel (no, not that one; the other one) sent in this photo of the bKL-designed skyscraper-in-progress, taken from the safety of CVS aisle 6 inside a warm and dry Illinois Center (the reason for the light reflections).  You can see the retail and...

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