Roots Has Sprouted, Now Greening the South Loop
Jan21

Roots Has Sprouted, Now Greening the South Loop

If you were recently bitten by a radioactive spider, don’t be surprised if you smell pork and tractors in Printer’s Row.  That’s just your spidey sense kicking in for the new Roots Pizza joint going up at 744 South Dearborn Street. 744 South Dearborn Street under construction in January 2020 (Courtesy of South Loop Spy Joel) Roots is a miniature pizza chain from Chicago that serves… wait for it… Quad...

Read More
Down-Zoning Requested to Put Up Small Hotel In Near North
Jan20

Down-Zoning Requested to Put Up Small Hotel In Near North

It’s not unusual to see zoning requests filed with the city where a developer wants to reduce the zoning density of a parcel.  But almost always it’s so that the chunk of land in question can be combined with a neighboring property and then the whole shebang gets an enormous skyscraper dropped on it like a bookbag on the last day of school.  That’s not what’s happening at 61 West Erie Street. September 2019...

Read More
Plan For 113-Story Magnificent Mile Skyscraper Hits City Hall
Jan16

Plan For 113-Story Magnificent Mile Skyscraper Hits City Hall

A new 1,400-foot-tall skyscraper slated for the Magnificent Mile has taken a big step forward on the shiny glass road from fantasy to fantastic. Plans for Tribune Tower East have officially been filled with the city.  January 2020 diagram of Tribune Tower East November 2019 rendering of Tribune Tower East (via CIM Group) The building will have 113 floors of hotel rooms, apartments, and condos; and climb 1,442 feet into the sky.  This...

Read More
Wayback Wednesday: Winter Comes for Chicago’s Newspapers
Jan15

Wayback Wednesday: Winter Comes for Chicago’s Newspapers

This was the scene on January 15, 2010 — ten years ago today.  One of Chicago’s multi-holed newspaper racks braving the cold on the corner of Michigan and Chicago Avenues.  The corner of Chicago and Michigan January 10, 2010. Newspaper stands, and the racks that replace them, have a long history in Chicago. They proliferated in the early 20th century, in part because of new regulations on street vending in the...

Read More
That’s One Chicago You’ve Got Growing There
Jan14

That’s One Chicago You’ve Got Growing There

If you went to midnight mass at Holy Name Cathedral on Christmas Eve, you may have noticed two things. First, the absence of the traditional phalanx of public servants, from the mayor and police chief on down. And second, the complete lack of parking across the street. For the first item, why Chicago’s pols choose not to make themselves visible to the city’s largest voting bloc is beyond the scope of what we do here. The...

Read More
West Loop Skyscraper Proposal Cuts Height, Adds Second Building
Jan13

West Loop Skyscraper Proposal Cuts Height, Adds Second Building

Plans for an apartment and hotel tower on the edge of the Kennedy Expressway at Randolph Street have changed, even though the city of Chicago has already approved this project. Developer Related Midwest envisions the project ay 725 West Randolph as a gateway to Chicago’s Restaurant Row, and until recently saw it as a single apartment tower with a hotel.  Now it’s asking for permission to add a second building across West...

Read More
Century-Old Bronzeville Church Likely to be Landmarked
Jan13

Century-Old Bronzeville Church Likely to be Landmarked

In an era when so many of Chicago’s holy places are being abandoned, repurposed, or even demolished, it’s good to see a building that has been a cornerstone of its community on the road to preservation.  The Chicago Landmarks Commission has approved landmark designation for the building that is now Mount Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church.   Mount Pisgah Missionary Baptist church (via Apple Maps) The building opened in March...

Read More
Here’s What it Looks Like Under Chicago’s Newest Skyscraper
Jan09

Here’s What it Looks Like Under Chicago’s Newest Skyscraper

Real estate folk are always trying to “get in on the ground floor” of the next big thing. The next big thing in the Gold Coast is One Chicago. And the person in on the ground floor is Joe Zekas from YoChicago!. But he’s not just in on the ground floor. He was deep underground in the coffer dam in the northwest corner of this project recently. Donning hardhat, he channeled his inner James Brown to get down and get...

Read More
Wayback Wednesday: Lord, Snow Down On Me
Jan08

Wayback Wednesday: Lord, Snow Down On Me

It was ten years ago today, January 8, 2010 that we took this photograph of what was then known as the Episcopal Church Center at 65 East Huron Street, just off Michigan Avenue. That’s where a life-sized bronze statue, appearing half man and half angel arched its back, stretched its arms, and welcomed the coming snowstorm. Saint James Commons on January 8, 2010 A year earlier this space was renamed Saint James Commons to go...

Read More
Gensler-Designed Plan for 1200 West Carroll Hits City Hall
Jan07

Gensler-Designed Plan for 1200 West Carroll Hits City Hall

San Francisco architecture firm Gensler doesn’t do a lot of work in Chicago, but we’ve been a fan of the blueprint boffins ever since we launched our first architecture web site way back in 1997.  Back then, Google hadn’t been invented yet, and we were in a city littered with Gensler designs; so we learned to appreciate its affinity for easily-relatable facades and its apparent distaste for parking podia.   December...

Read More