Goose Island Lumber Yard May Sport Wood Once Again

The root of Chicago’s industrial past could soon be the home of the city’s largest — or at least heaviest — green building endeavor. Crain’s Chicago Business reports that Hines is thinking about putting up an office building on Goose Island that would be made of wood.

1017 West Division Street (via Apple Maps)

1017 West Division Street (via Apple Maps)

The Houston developer isn’t barking up the wrong tree here.  There have been dozens of commercial buildings erected over the last few years around the world made of wood.  A few of them even climb into the “high rise” or “skyscraper” categories.  Still, most have been smaller affairs.  But not this Chicago project.  Hines is making no small plans, and reportedly wants this branch of its real estate empire to sprout similar to its T3 office building in Minneapolis.

T3 is located just north of downtown Minneapolis, and is a seven-story wooden building.  It planted roots in the city’s emerging technology hub coincidentally called The Loop.  Acorn-er office in the building is coveted by tech companies.  We know one dot-com that’s been pining for a nice timber loft setup for six months, but can’t find exactly what it’s looking for.  It (and similar companies) believe having a lofty space will help them sap investors out of their seed money.  One of Hines’ tree houses might just crack that nut.

The buzz is that the Chicago project would grow at 1017 West Division Street. Appropriately enough, this is the location of the former Big Bay Lumber yard.

Hines is usually very good about notifying us about every little thing it does, but hasn’t uttered a peep about this project.  So it’s remains to be seen if this is an old saw, or if the company will soon be linkin’ logs.

Location: 1017 West Division Street, Goose Island

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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