60-Story Superior Street Skyscraper Surprise

Developers backing a new Superior Street tower have lubed up the defibrillator paddles and jolted their patient back into City Hall. Loop North News reports that 40 East Superior has not assumed room temperature after all, as Symmetry Development filed a revised plan for the property on December 11th.

Rendering of 40 East Superior (via Alderman Brendan Reilly's Office)
March 2017 rendering of 40 East Superior (via Alderman Brendan Reilly’s Office)

The last time this rodeo came to town, the prize bull was 216 hotel rooms, 126 time shares, 246 condominiums, a 325-space parking garage, and 30,000 square feet of hotel space encased in a 725-foot-tall tower on the northeast corner of Superior and Wabash. While the programming was ambitious on the inside, the outside was about as dull as a set of United Airlines steak knives.

Those of you who know your sangria will recognize the location as a couplet of code orange graystones behind Holy Name Cathedral. And if you’ve ever tried to drive or park in this shire, you know why 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly scuttled this Titanic before it could even smell an iceberg.

Cram another brat on the Weber.  (via Apple Maps)
Cram another brat on the Weber. (via Apple Maps)

This is the second skyscraper plan for this location. In 2015 we reported on a notion for this ocean that included a craft of about half the size. It, too, sank amid concerns about congestion and overdevelopment.

The new Loop North News report is mostly focused on Chinese investors who reportedly have a yuan to get their money back. But what we are most interested in is a bit of tid that indicates the revised plan incorporates the orange crushes into the new tower’s fa├žade.

However, unless significant changes have been made to reduce the building’s impact on traffic, we don’t see Mr. Reilly changing course. Yes, it’s a go-to complaint for anti-development types, but just because a NIMBY clutches her pearls, doesn’t always mean she’s wrong.

Location: 40 East Superior Street, Near North Side

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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