Big Name Architect to Transform River South

Ralph Johnson, courtesy of Perkins+Will

Ralph Johnson, courtesy of Perkins+Will

Just days after announcing that a Chicago developer and an Australian developer will transform the South Loop wilds surrounding River City (800 South Wells Street) into a new community of residences, offices, hotels, and restaurants, word comes that an architect has been picked to bend the land to his vision.

Models of the Boeing Headquarters

Early models of the Boeing Headquarters in the Perkins+Will office

According to Crain’s Chicago Business, Ralph Johnson has been tapped to turn River South into the next Lakeshore East.  You may remember him from such buildings as the Boeing Headquarters (100 North Riverside Plaza), Skybridge (1 North Halsted), and The Clare (55 East Pearson Street).

Chicago’s CMK and metro Sydney’s Lend Lease issued this statement on Monday:

The project will be developed over a 10-year period; however, initial concept design work has already begun and the company aims to file plans over the coming months. Construction of the first stage is forecast to commence in early 2016.

So if design is underway, and construction is planned to start in 10ish months, our educated guess is that renderings should start to leak around Labor Day, and paperwork will hit the city clerk’s office around Halloween.  We’ll see if River South turns out to be a trick or a treat.

Location: 600 South Wells Street, South Loop


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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