Another Loop Skyscraper Expanding Upward, Getting Open-Air Observatory

We’ve written a number of times about buildings in Chicago that were erected with vertical expansion in mind.  300 East Randolph is the most visible example, but there are others like 168 North Michigan and Union Station.

Now another one of The Loop’s skyscrapers is getting a vertical expansion.  But you probably won’t notice it unless you work in, or adjacent to, the building in question: Beacon Capital Partners’ 303 East Wacker.

303 East Wacker Drive

303 East Wacker Drive

If you’re the sort of person who needs to know the exact height of every building in Chicago — and we know you are — SCB’s design for altering 303 East Wacker gives it another 19 feet, six inches, bringing the tower to a total of 440 feet, four inches.

That extra 20-ish feet isn’t going to be another floor, it’s going to be an elevator overrun because the existing mechanical space on the 29th and 30th floors is being converted into people space.

A cat inspects an apartment in Aqua, with 303 East Wacker in the background. Because of their indifferent nature, it's always best to seek the opinion of a cat when appraising real estate.

A cat inspects an apartment in Aqua, with the soon-to-be rebuilt portion of 303 East Wacker in the background. Because of their indifferent nature, it’s always best to seek the opinion of a cat when appraising real estate.

That’s great news if you work in this building because those floors are expected to become “tenant amenity space.”  It’s bad news if you’re WGN, because your satellite dish is in the way.

Most of the giant mechanical louvres on the north, east, and south sides of the building that currently hide the rooftop systems are going to be replaced with glass to match the rest of the building.  And some of that glass will swing open, to give a portion of the 30th floor an open-air observation space.  Don’t get excited; this will almost certainly be private space.

Editor

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at chicagoarchitectureinfo@gmail.com.

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