Alderman Sends Three-Tower Lakeshore East Plan Back to the Drawing Board

Remember that sultry, silvery sliver of a skyscraper that you lusted after during the summer?  Well, the gales of December have blown in, and you can just forget about her.

Rendering of Towers J and I (Courtesy of bKL Architecture)

Rendering of Towers J and I (Courtesy of bKL Architecture)

42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly has informed Magellan Development and LendLease that their proposed three-tower plan for completing the northeast corner of Lakeshore East is a non-starter.

Mr. Reilly says he received hundreds of comments from his constituents against the proposed development of Lakeshore East parcels I, J, K and L.  Most of Reilly’s objections boil down to design and security.

  • He doesn’t like the grand staircase linking the elevated roadways of Lakeshore East with the Lake Michigan lakefront.  Instead, he’d rather see something less structured, and more park-like.
  • He wants more open space available to the public.  Back in July, we heard similar criticisms about the way the public space was hacked up, instead of contiguous.
  • He wants the towers to be spaced (presumably farther apart), so they better match the density of the existing buildings at Lakeshore East.
  • He wants the developers to put in security cameras tied to the Chicago Police Department’s network, security guards on patrol, and a guard shack.

At first glance, the objections don’t seem that severe.  That is, if it was just one building.  bKL’s plan was for a three-building complex, with one of the towers reaching 80 stories.  Complexity abounds.  But considering the value of the property in question, there is little doubt that something big will be built there eventually.

Rendering of Tower O (Courtesy of bKL Architecture)

Rendering of Tower O (Courtesy of bKL Architecture)

The good news is that Building O, which was unveiled simultaneously with Buildings I, J, and K/L this past July wasn’t mentioned at all.  Perhaps this is a sign that the slot between Aqua and 300 East Randolph Street will be filled in with the planned hotel sandwich, and that end of Lakeshore East will finally be complete.


Location: 303 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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