If you spent Memorial Day Weekend in quarantine fretting about people in the park executing their God-given right to spread a deadly virus to strangers (“I’m fine...*hack*hack*hack*“), or wondering about the phlegm warriors hocking loogies onto the CTA Brown Line platform (Is there no Zyrtec in Ravenswood?), then you might have missed the news that the Chicago Plan Commission turned its thumb up to the plan to build a new residential tower in the Fulton River District.
Like several of its neighbors, 344 North Canal was designed by SCB for The Habitat Company. It will replace the old Cassidy Tire Company Warehouse. If you used to take certain Metra lines into Ogilvie Station for work each day, you’re familiar with this warehouse’s brick facade. It bears a bright yellow and red “Continental Tire/Wm. J. Cassidy Tire” sign, which lets the rummies on the train know to stash their breakfast beers, straighten their ties, and pop a fresh breath mint, because that totally fools everyone in the office.
If you’re not a Metra warrior, you might know the brick pile for its position across the street from the derelict, but ornamental, Kinzie Street Railroad Bridge, which used to carry freight trains laden with rolls of newsprint and barrels of ink beneath the streets of Chicago’s north side to the former Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune buildings.
The new residential skyscraper will bring 343 new homes to the neighborhood, plus 124 parking spaces in a 33-story building that inherits its looks from its siblings across the river, Hubbard Place, and Kingsbury Plaza.