Construction Update
Defrosting West Loop Pocket Park a Sign of Skyscrapers to Come

Construction at 590 West Madison Street (Courtesy of West Loop Spy Kurt)

Construction at 590 West Madison Street (Courtesy of West Loop Spy Kurt)

It’s been 15 years since the Lincoln Park Zoo’s last groundhog went to that big leaf-lined burrow in the sky, so there’s no official way to tell if spring is coming early to Chicago.  But if you’re looking for a substitute, keep an eye out for hardhats at 590 West Madison Street.

Like an indecisive fat guy’s Hungry Man dinner, the half-built pocket park for the 590 West Madison skyscraper is slowly going through the repeating freeze-and-thaw cycles typical of February in Chicago.  Construction crews are eager to make progress on the park because part of the developer’s deal with the city is that the park comes first, then the office tower.

West Loop Spy Kurt sent in the picture above of the park during a recent thaw cycle.  Our own Daniel Schell took the less-hopeful picture below, showing the park fully entrenched in winter.

Construction at 590 West Madison Street

If you’d like to imagine what it will look like when it’s done, these diagrams from friends-of-the-blog Goettsch Partners should be of use.

Eventually, sometime after the weather warms up, the skyscraper, itself, will sprout to a height of 581 feet, nine inches, dwarfing the 80’s deconstructionist ABN AMRO building next door, and even topping the wall of Presidential Towers across the street by more than 120 feet.

Even better, it is expected to have a double-height bar and restaurant on its 41st and 42nd floors, just below the pool on the 43rd floor.   So, assuming that the eatery and drinkery are public, we’re in for some awesome views of the Loop skyline, the city up and down the Kennedy Expressway,  and some proposal-worthy sunsets.

It’s been a while since we’ve reported on this project, so here are some updated renderings and diagrams:

Rendering of 590 West Madison (Courtesy of Goettsch Partners)

Rendering of 590 West Madison (Courtesy of Goettsch Partners)

Location: 590 West Madison Street, West 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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