Plan Commission Approved a Skyscraper That Isn’t a Big Square on Another Big Square

Do you want a 35-story luxury skyscraper in your neighborhood? Because this is how you get a 35-story luxury skyscraper in your neighborhood.

November 2020 rendering of 40 West Oak
November 2020 rendering of 40 West Oak

The Chicago Plan Commission has given its blessing to the construction of a new residential tower at 40 West Oak Street.  The new building was designed by Lucien Lagrange for Nahla Capital, and will replace the Warren Barr Pavilion’s parking garage.  

The building’s 75 new condominiums and 160 new parking spaces will replace the existing Warren Barr car park (read that in your best Boston accent).  

Though it’s immediately behind the Newberry Library, the new skyscraper won’t be the awkward six-foot-tall redhead at the eighth-grade dance.  There are towers of 20, 21, 22, 32, and 37 stories on adjacent blocks.  It’s also been cut back a bit from its originally planned height of 502 feet, down to 465 feet and change.

Expect a lot of decorative metalwork, limestone, and granite.  If you dig the Park Tower on Michigan Avenue, you’ll be hip to this jive.  Which is natch because it’s the same cat behind the mouse.

Location: 40 West Oak Street, Near North

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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