One Vote Means Two New Skyscrapers for Chicago

While you count down your final days in quarantine pretending to pay attention to work conference calls while scrubbing the grout, giving the dog a bath,  and watching reruns of Press Your Luck (no whammies!), the steady march of skyscrapers through City Hall continues unabated. Today, Chicago City Council approved a project that will alter the city’s skyline in a delightful way.

March 2020 rendering of 400 North Lake Shore Drive (Courtesy of Related Midwest)

400 North Lake Shore Drive, the two-tower project from Related Midwest isn’t everything we hoped it would be, but will finally erase the embarrassment left behind by the failed Chicago Spire project.  Instead of a single, 2,000-foot-tall tower, we get two towers with a combined height of 1,640 feet.  Inside there will be 1,100 new homes and ground floor retail space.  

This is supposed to also result in the completion of DuSable Park.  And while we have every confidence in Related’s ability, desire, and financial wherewithal to make that happen, we’ve been crestfallen so many times over the last 30 years that we’ll believe it when we’re finally, firmly butt-on-grass enjoying the Navy Pier fireworks.

We asked Related what it plans to do with  the giant light socket in the ground currently occupying 400 North Lake Shore Drive. Fill it in?  Incorporate it into the new buildings?  Cover it with a glass dome and turn it into a public garden, like they’ve done repeatedly in the United Kingdom? 

The official word on that plan is “mum.”  As in, currently none of our business. But stay tuned because that will inevitably change.  It can’t just be wished away, like the high-speed rail station currently mothballed underneath Block37.

Location: 400 North Lake Shore Drive, Streeterville

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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