Like Trains? You’ll Love Chicago’s Newest Skyscraper [updated]

CTA Hubbard Curve - Chicago, Illinois - August, 2013 - 001a

Another new residential tower is coming to River North and this one has an interesting, albeit noisy, view.

42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly sent out a notice last night inviting neighbors to a public meeting for a new tower at 205 West Hubbard Street. That’s the surface parking lot bifurcated by the CTA’s Brown and Purple Line elevated trains.

The Century Tower

The Century Tower stands on what is likely Chicago’s noisiest corner

The project actually includes two buildings so, presumably, it will also encompass the other surface parking lot next door at 213 West Hubbard Street. One building is planned as an eight-story office building, the other a 22-story residential tower. The tower would have 193 residences above 91 parking spaces and ground floor retail space.

Why would anyone build a big residential tower right next to a noisy curve in the CTA’s L system? Well, it’s not unprecedented. The Century Tower at 201 North Wells sits right at one of the busiest rail junctions in the nation — Tower 18, where the CTA’s Brown, Purple, Green, Pink, Orange, and Green Lines meet. I lived there back when the building had the ludicrous name “Skyline Century of Progress.” With the right windows, and a positive mental outlook, you get used to the noise. And you don’t have to be a railfan to be mesmerized watching those silver cans slide by day and night.

If you’re interested in attending the public meeting, it’s at 6:00 p.m. on March 31st at the Paris Club (59 West Hubbard Street). We recommend staying late and trying the cassoulet. It’s whatever the French word for “epic” is.


Update: March 19, 2015 @ 10:33pm:

A little birdie visited our tip line and dropped off this little egg. Not surprisingly, the shorter office building faces the curve of the CTA tracks. Perhaps its curved facade will help reflect noise away from the residential tower.

Rendering of 205 West Hubbard Street

Location: 205 West Hubbard Street, River North

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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