The Wacker Drive canyon is about to get a new cliff. Gound-level foundation work is underway at 110 North Wacker, after weeks of demolition, clearing, and caisson work.
Loop Spy Chris drilled a few recent pictures into our tip line showing work over the last few days. You can see concrete being poured on the south end of the worksite, topping rebar from the caissons sticking out of the ground in nice, square trenches. It’s a sandbox dream.
Further north, you can see the caissons getting closer together as the site narrows, constrained by both the Chicago River and Wacker Drive. In spite of this constraint, the 45-foot-wide public riverwalk will not be sacraficed. Goettsch Partners designed the skyscraper so that the riverwalk will pass beneath the tower. They’re kind of hard to see this early in construction, but the footings are there for three radiating supports positioned along the river’s edge, with the riverwalk between them and the lobby.
The result is a win-win. Howard Hughes gets 1.4 million square feet of rentable space in the tower above, and the public gets some shelter from the elements while using the public space. With any luck, we’ll see a little cafe action here, so people can enjoy some joe while watching the boats pass. Public benches in this public space would be ideal, especially for brown-baggers, but we’re not getting our hopes up on that front.
The Wacker Drive side is somewhat less loved. It’s all shiny metal-clad columns and glass walls. Even the trees are on the inside, where they are the private property of the building’s owner, and not a piece of the streetscape.
But sparrows have no respect for private property. It’ll only be a few weeks before a couple find their way into the lobby and start chirping up a storm in the miniature arboretum. Chicago sparrows always find a way.