Another Skyscraper Ready to Rise on Lake Michigan

With all its shiny skyscraper goodness, it’s sometimes hard to remember that Lakeshore East is half a century old this year.

Illinois Central Railroad's 1969 plan for Lakeshore East
Illinois Central Railroad’s 1969 plan for Lakeshore East

It was in 1969 that the Illinois Central Railroad decided that its riverfront rail yard might be more profitable as a bunch of residential, office, and hotel towers. Fifty years later, that plan is inching toward completion with the coming of Building J, the first of the final four planned for LSE.

Rendering of Cirrus (Courtesy of Lendlease)
Rendering of Cirrus (Courtesy of Lendlease)

But don’t call it “Building J” anymore. Magellan Development and Lendlease have come up with a real name for it: Cirrus.

Cirrus will be a 47-story condo tower at 211 North Harbor Drive, next to The Parkshore. Pre-sales have begun for the new tower’s 363 condominiums so people can pre-live there before it opens in 2021.

One bedroom units start at $450,000-ish for 600 square feet of space. The choices run up to four bedroom units with over 3,000 square feet of space north of $4 million. There will also be a smattering of townhouses at the base of the tower.

Cirrus joins its nautically-named neighbors The Shoreham, The Regatta, Aqua, and The Tides. You didn’t know that “cirrus” is a nautical term? According to Apple’s dictionary, a cirrus is “a slender tendril or hairlike filament, such as the appendage of a barnacle, the barbel of a fish, or the intromittent organ of an earthworm.” See? Totally nautical.

Cirrus is one of three new towers soon to rise on the southwest corner of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. The other two are still using the placeholder names Building I and Building K/L, which are OK for now but look awkward stitched on a bowling shirt.

Location: 211 North Harbor 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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