Getting to Know… 353 West Grand
Jun30

Getting to Know… 353 West Grand

Last week, the details of the new skyscraper planned for 353 West Grand Avenue in River North were unveiled.  It’s a modestly tall 32-story tower that will replace the Clark & Barlow hardware store. The plans provoked the usual NIMBY wailing of “My views! My views! My precious views!” but with a level of theater previously unseen in these public meetings.  One resident of the Sexton Lofts lofted her child in the...

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Alderman Reilly Against Latest Park Privatization Plan
Jun29

Alderman Reilly Against Latest Park Privatization Plan

For the last few months we’ve been following the growing concern in the Gold Coast over the future of Mariano Park. For those of you unfamiliar with that particular sliver of Chicago, it’s the space bounded by North State Street, North Rush Street, and East Bellevue Place that puts the “triangle” into Viagra Triangle. From early spring into the late fall, it is the hub of the neighborhood.  A lively place where...

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Status Update: Block37
Jun29

Status Update: Block37

If you haven’t stopped by Block37 lately, that’s OK.  The Chicago Architecture Blog’s Daniel Schell has, and brings us these pictures of the residential tower’s progress at 25 West Randolph Street. Designed by friends-of-the-blog, SCB, the enormous apartment building is being grafted onto the northern part of the Loop shopping mall.  We use the word “enormous” because this addition will have 690...

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The Roof… The Roof… The Roof is a Park
Jun29

The Roof… The Roof… The Roof is a Park

The British School of Chicago’s new South Loop campus is rapidly approaching completion.  For the most part, the exterior work is done and construction is currently focused on the interior spaces. Inspectors are already going over the work done to make sure everything’s ship shape. Inside there’s a library; a dance and drama studio; a fitness studio; a cafeteria and kitchen; a music classroom; and lots more specific...

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Build an 82-Story Building in Chicago by 2017? Good Luck With That
Jun26

Build an 82-Story Building in Chicago by 2017? Good Luck With That

Chicago real estate developers are a tight-lipped group.  With just a few exceptions, they don’t like talking about their projects, sometimes to the point of absurdity.  We’ve stood inside construction sites for buildings and had representatives of the building developers deny it even exists.  Seriously. At the other extreme are real estate developers who get all excited and perhaps talk too much.  Donald Trump, for...

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Throwback Thursday: A Tiny Sip of the Past
Jun25

Throwback Thursday: A Tiny Sip of the Past

When you’ve been publishing a blog as long as we have, you end up with one heck of a photograph archive. Fortunately, the interwebs gave us “Throwback Thursday,” an excuse to re-purpose our snapshots from ten years ago. Today the wayback machine takes us not to a construction site, but to a neighborhood bar.  The Tiny Lounge (1814 West Addison Street) was a tiny lounge hard against the CTA Brown Line tracks in Lake View.  It was known...

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Wayback Wednesday: Fly Through the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair
Jun24

Wayback Wednesday: Fly Through the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair

The 1893 World Columbian Exposition is one of those defining events in the history of Chicago that people can’t get enough of.  It turns out, even Californians are mesmerized by it. Back in 2009, a project began at the University of California Berkeley to create a real-time 3D model of the White City.  Dozens of high-resolution still images were created, and several movies.  One of those movies survives on YouTube, and can be...

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Number Nine Caught on Video
Jun23

Number Nine Caught on Video

  These days it’s not enough to have a slick brochure or strategically-placed billboards or windows covered with beautiful architecture pictures from Artefaqs. Today, every new building has to have a video.  And today a little birdie hit our tip line to let us know that the latest Chicago building to get its just-under-five-minutes of fame is No. 9 Walton (9 West Walton Street). Development company JDL has put together a...

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Navy Pier Ferris Wheel to be Replaced with Bigger, More Modern Version
Jun23

Navy Pier Ferris Wheel to be Replaced with Bigger, More Modern Version

Navy Pier’s Ferris wheel is such a part of the city’s visual identity that it’s hard to believe it’s only been there since 1995.  Now the city has decided 20 years is long enough, and is moving forward with a plan to replace the landmark — and quickly. The wheel that we see today is an homage to the world’s first modern Ferris wheel, erected at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition down the...

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Moody Sees the Wisdom of Near North Senior Housing
Jun23

Moody Sees the Wisdom of Near North Senior Housing

The Moody Bible Institute, the largest college in Chicago’s Near North neighborhood and the broadcaster of some of the best Christmas music on the radio each year, wants to put up a new senior housing block called Wisdom Village. The seven-story building from Design Organization is planned for the eastern half of the half-block bounded by West Oak Street, a private driveway that lines up with North Franklin Street, West Walton...

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