Construction Update
Crews Plugging Away at the Future Wanda Vista Tower

Pre-construction at the Wanda Vista Tower (Courtesy of Joe Zekas/YoChicago!)

Pre-construction at the Wanda Vista Tower (Courtesy of Joe Zekas/YoChicago!)

Usually planting skyscraper seeds is a pretty quick affair.  The soil sampling truck shows up, and by the time we hear about it and get a photographer to the scene, it’s already gone.  That’s not the case at Lakeshore East, where crews poking holes in the dirt for the Wanda Vista Tower (375 East Wacker Drive) are still on the job.  Joe Zekas at YoChicago! took the photo above of soil sampling crews working on May 19th — more than a week after we first reported the trucks had started work.

Wanda Vista Tower model (Courtesy of Loop Spy Daniel)

Wanda Vista Tower model (Courtesy of Loop Spy Daniel)

It’s not surprising that crews seem to be taking a long time with this.  After all, the Wanda Vista Tower is big.  Really big.  95 stories weighs a lot.  Plus, there are new elevated roadways going in to connect East Wacker Drive with East Waterside Drive.

And then there’s the hidden obstacles.  At various times this location has been factories, a rail yard, a wharf, and warehouses.  Who knows what’s been buried there and forgotten over the last 140 years?  And there’s also the threat of radioactive contamination.  Like most construction projects in The Loop and Streeterville, a radiological study has to be done.  We’ve seen that kind of remediation before.

So, while the politicians and bankers and developers haven’t been by yet to congratulate each other while gripping brass-plated shovels, that doesn’t mean progress isn’t being made.  Crews are plugging away — one hole at a time.

(On a side note: Take another look at the photo.  What’s up with the pools at The Tides and The Shoreham? Eeeeeeew!)

Location: 375 East Wacker Drive, The 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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