Throwback Thursday
When Kingsbury Plaza Wasn’t Even Archdukebury Plaza

The Grand Kingsbury - Chicago, Illinois - October, 2005 - 001

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 to see the genesis of Kingsbury Plaza (520 North Kingsbury Street), or as it was known back then: The Grand Kingsbury.  The stately ovoid column has become such a familiar landmark for people coming into and going out of downtown that it’s hard to believe just a decade ago it didn’t exist.

So, what used to be there?  Not much.  A surface parking lot took up the space where the skyscraper’s parking garage is today.  And the tower, itself, rests upon what was a kind of marine wasteland with disused and rotting docks and pilings at the edge of the Chicago River — remnants of the neighborhood’s more industrial past.

The Grand Kingsbury - Chicago, Illinois - October, 2005 - 003


The Grand Kingsbury - Chicago, Illinois - October, 2005 - 002

Location: 520 North Kingsburg 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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