Status Update: Four East Elm
May29

Status Update: Four East Elm

It’s not yet a soaring tree in Chicago’s skyscraper forest, but 4 East Elm is slowly growing as erection continues on the edge of the city’s Viagra Triangle district. The Chicago Architecture Blog‘s Daniel Schell stopped by to fix the cable recently and found that so far, it’s just a lot of poured concrete for the parking garage. But a firm, thick base is needed for this new member of the neighborhood....

Read More
Reader Questions: Raising the Barr
May29

Reader Questions: Raising the Barr

There are certain buildings that, in spite of their premier addresses, manage to go through life anonymously.  One of them is the Warren Barr Pavilion at 66 West Oak Street.  It’s a nursing home in the city’s Near North neighborhood, and in spite of its swishy Oak Street inscription, its brown brick facade keeps it hidden from the masses. Until recently, that is.  A neighbor hit our tip line asking what’s up with the...

Read More
Status Update: Union Station Transit Center
May28

Status Update: Union Station Transit Center

Methodically, the surface parking lot sandwiched between the Amtrak parking garage and Union Station in the West Loop is being scraped away to make room for the new $22 million CTA Transit Center at 300 South Canal Street. The transit center is billed as a “multi-modal” facility, though it stretches the definition a little.  It will allow Amtrak and Metra riders to transfer to Divvy bicycles, CTA local 60, 124, and 157 bus...

Read More
Status Update: Big Blue Turning Silver on Goose Island
May28

Status Update: Big Blue Turning Silver on Goose Island

For months it’s been a distinctive presence in the Goose Island neighborhood: The mid-sized tower rising at 625 West Division Street’s corporate blue construction safety netting has made it stand out even against Chicago’s legendarily azure skies.  The Chicago Architecture Blog‘s Daniel Schell Divvyed by recently and found that as progress continues, the building it slowly turning from blue to silver....

Read More
The 606 Preps For Official Opening
May28

The 606 Preps For Official Opening

A couple of years ago, when a friend convinced me to hike along the Bloomingdale Trail, it wasn’t much to look at. Aficionados of weeds and urban decay might have found beauty in it, but it was hard to look past the schmutz and detritus along the 2.7-mile elevated track. Fast-forward to the present and this former ugly duckling is about to take flight as a swan. The 606 will be open and ready to take its place among the great city...

Read More
Status Update: Someplace Old Gets Something New in the South Loop
May27

Status Update: Someplace Old Gets Something New in the South Loop

Space has been cleared, but there’s no actual construction yet down at Old Saint Mary’s Church at 1500 South Michigan Avenue in the South Loop.  As part of its “Phase III” project, it is constructing a new parish center for the oldest Roman Catholic parish in Chicago (no matter what Old Saint Pat’s people claim). The project is already about a year behind schedule, but groundbreaking ceremonies were held...

Read More
Status Update: The Rising RIC
May27

Status Update: The Rising RIC

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago’s new Ability Institute skyscraper at 630 North McClurg Court (formerly 355 East Erie Street) is really starting to look like something.  The Chicago Architecture Blog’s Daniel Schell paid a visit recently and found that it’s quickly becoming a nice, shiny, blue glass tower in the heart of Streeterville.  It’s not as visually tall or imposing as we’d expected, and...

Read More
What’s Going On With the Division Street Bridges?
May26

What’s Going On With the Division Street Bridges?

In July 2014, the Chicago Department of Transportation undertook an emergency $6 million project to replace the 111-year-old East Division Street Bridge. In June 2013, the biennial inspection determined the bridge was, in engineering terms, “structurally deficient.” It does not mean unsafe, rather, it means the bridge “requires significant maintenance and repair to remain in service and eventual rehabilitation or replacement to...

Read More
Two More Riverwalk “Rooms” Open to the Public
May26

Two More Riverwalk “Rooms” Open to the Public

Two main sections of the Chicago Riverwalk opened to the public over the Memorial Day weekend.  Just before 1:00pm, the barriers were removed on two sections between Clark Street and State Street known as The Marina and The Cove.  These are the first sections of the riverwalk to be completed on the main channel of the Chicago River since the portion just east of Michigan Avenue was finished several years ago. Though the riverside...

Read More
Oh No! Po’ RiNo HoJo No Mo’
May26

Oh No! Po’ RiNo HoJo No Mo’

If you wanted to get one last glimpse of Chicago’s downtown Howard Johnson’s motel before it was demolished, well you’re too late. It’s gone, baby. The Chicago Architecture Blog‘s Daniel Schell motored by the motor lodge and found that there’s not much of it left other than a pastel-colored exterior wall, and the basement. This will soon be the location of 720 North LaSalle, Magellan...

Read More