The south side of Grant Park is going to add another strikingly tall skyscraper to its border and help balance out the north-south heigh discrepancy.
The Chicago Plan Commission has approved the vertical expansion of the Essex Inn at 800 South Michigan Avenue. The plan designed by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture for Oxford Capitol and Quadrum Global calls for adding a 57-story, 575-foot-tall apartment tower just south of the main existing hotel building, and also renovating that original building.
The result will be 290 hotel rooms in the current 160-foot-tall Essex Inn, and up to 476 new residences in a tower above 100 new hotel rooms and new retail space. The new skyscraper will be about 620 feet tall. By way of comparison, 340 on the Park at the north end of Grant Park is a full 72 feet taller. The Legacy, two block away, is 199 feet taller. Since its opening in 2008 it has become a visual touchstone during public events in Grant Park.
The north side of Grant Park has long been the taller side, with a selection of tall towers making a powerful visual statement while lining Chicago’s premiere green space. The roster includes:
- Aon Center (1,136 feet)
- The Legacy (819 feet)
- 300 East Randolph (796 feet)
- 340 on the Park (672 feet)
- 333 South Wabash (610 feet)
The south end of the park is catching up, though. Its recent bulwarks include:
And in the pipeline we have:
- 113 East Roosevelt (887 feet)
- 1000 South Michigan (832 feet)
- Essex Inn expansion (620 feet)