Getting to Know… 465 North Park Drive

Rendering of 465 North Park

Way back in Episode Two of our Chicago Neverbuilt series, we told you about a lickable, curvalicious skyscraper once planned for 465 North Park Drive.  It was designed by friends-of-the-blog SCB on behalf of a great big east coast financial services company, which eventually decided not to build it.

The vacant lot at 465 is once again in play, with yet another curvy skyscraper — this time from the pencils of Pappageorge Haymes. We are fortunate that Pappageorge and SCB agree that this is the right location for something curvy.  But is the PH design good enough to take the title of “Streeterville’s Sexist Skyscraper” away from the Neverbuilt vaporware?  It depends on how much you like flowers.

Diagram of 465 North Park DriveThe easiest way to understand 465 is from above.  Directly above. From there you can see that while it maintains the traditional Chicago block base, the tower portion unfolds like a giant, glassy three-petaled iris. Planting that plant on a Chicago podium is like trying trying to stuff a twi-wing screwdriver into a Robertson slot.

To get around the problem, the skyscraper’s 389-foot-tall south petal actually hangs over both the fourth floor amenity deck/parking garage and the access driveway below.  There’s about two-stories of clearance between the common area and the underbelly of the building’s southern extension.  Will that be a tall enough gap to let in a modicum of sunlight?  It’s hard to say, especially with the 569-foot-tall North Water Apartments/Loews Hotel Tower immediately to the south.

But it might work.  The Loews Hotel building is shoved to the southern portion of its site, and 465 is shoved as far northeast as possible.  This is necessary, not to be a good neighbor, but because the older and odder a Chicago zoning rule is, the more immutable it is.  And the one absolute rule of Chicago zoning in Streeterville is: Thou shalt not block the view of the Tribune Tower from Ogden Slip.

As they say in Texas: Do what now?

Diagram of the Tribune Tower - Ogden Slip view corridor

This is what it looks like when an architect tries to avoid violating the view corridor between Ogden Slip and the Tribune Tower. In this case, it’s SCB doing it for the Loews Hotel tower

It’s one of those oddities we get e-mail about every now and again, and it’s true.  It is absolutely verboten to block the view of the one mighty media empire headquarters from the gash of inland waterway that allows people to sail from McClurg Court to the open waters of Lake Michigan, or the Big Muddy down south. Architects take great pains positioning their buildings to preserve the 100° view corridor, and lawyers spend lots of time documenting the effort so as not to run afoul of a city reg that seem as outdated as it is obscure.

While you chew on that, here’s the firehose to wash it down:

  • Developer: New Water Park, LLC
  • For realsies: UDR and MetLife
  • Architecture firm: Pappageorge Haymes
  • Architect: Brian Kidd
  • Address: 465 North Park Drive
  • Address: 315 East Illinois Street
  • Address: 464 North New Street
  • Maximum height: 513 feet
  • Maximum length: 215 feet
  • Maximum width: 157 feet
  • Stories: 45
  • Residences: 444
  • Parking spaces: 181
  • Lot size: 34,400 square feet
  • Sky deck height: 389 feet, eight inches
  • Amenity deck height: 59 feet, four inches
  • Residential access: via private driveway linking North Park Drive with North New Street
  • Loading docks: 2
  • Loading dock access: from North New Street
  • Parking garage access: via driveway linking North Park Drive with North New Street
  • Unusual planned amenities: Dog wash, game room, herb garden, sky terrace in addition to amenity deck
  • Green roof alert! 11,178 square feet
Location: 465 North Park Drive, Streeterville

Disclosure: The author of this article once worked for one of the development partners.

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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