West Loop Skyscraper to Further the Isolation of Kennedy Expressway

Last week we learned two interesting things.  First, the correct 12 Days of Christmas lyric is “Four colly birds,” not “Four calling birds.”  Colly bird is a dusty term for any random blackbird.  And second, Crescent Heights wants to put up a 47-story residential tower at 640 West Washington Boulevard, on the eastern edge of the Kennedy Expressway.

December, 2020 rendering of 640 West Washington
December, 2020 rendering of 640 West Washington

The City of Chicago has long encouraged tall buildings along the I-90/94 corridor through downtown, in order to cut down on all the noise, fumes, and general cacophony that belches from the dinosaur-burning conveyances below.  In recent years, there have been several additions to the architectural picket fence along the west side of the Bratwurst Autobahn.  This will be the first sizable addition to the east side in some time.

And when we say it’s going up next to the Kennedy, we mean right next to the Kennedy.  Just a footpath away from the carmageddon below.  

December, 2020 rendering of 640 West Washington
December, 2020 rendering of 640 West Washington

If you’re a car owner, you may know this space as the surface parking lot northwest of the Social Security building.  If you’re just a car wannabe, you may know this as the surface parking lot next to the McLaren dealership.  

Fun fact: This McLaren dealership used to be a Fiat dealership.  It is also where, during a test drive, we drove backwards into the dealership’s closing garage door, ruining both door and car.  In hindsight, we’re glad it was only a Fiat that got bonked, not a McLaren.

The skyscraper in question was designed by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture.  It’s expected to have 413 residences in its tower.  The podium will be kitted out with 8,000 square feet of retail space, and parking for 137 lightly damaged Fiats.

December, 2020 rendering of 640 West Washington
December, 2020 rendering of 640 West Washington

Location: 640 West Washington Boulevard, West Loop

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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