Another Downtown Construction Project Stopped by COVID-19

For the second time in two weeks, we get news that a big downtown Chicago construction project has been halted.

The Chicago Tribune reports that plans for a $185 million observatory at the top of the Aon Center are on hold because of the pandemic.

Aon Center Observatory rendering
Aon Center Observatory rendering

The paper says the owners are waiting to see if a “potential treatment or cure” is developed in the near-term, and if any design changes have to be made to bring it into a post-COVID era.

Many office workers have been filled with anxiety about going back to work in skyscrapers where the primary mode of transportation is an elevator. One of the big elements of the Aon observatory was a glass elevator running up the northwest corner of the building. While some office elevators have been equipped with social distancing stickers, that may not fly at a tourist attraction.

Aon Center Observatory rendering
Aon Center Observatory elevator rendering

We told you last week that construction on the 74-story 1000M residential tower was put on hold because of the virus. The owners of that project stated that it was impossible for construction crews working underground to maintain proper social distance.

Location: 200 East Randolph Street, 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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