Getting All Glassy Over AMLI 808
Sep19

Getting All Glassy Over AMLI 808

One of Chicago’s newest residential buildings now has some glass on it. Near North Spy Mike sent in this photo of construction on the northwest corner of West Chicago Avenue and North Wells Street, where ALMI 808 is on its way up. AMLI 808 under construction in September 2020 (Courtesy of Near North Spy Mike) Mike’s keen eye noticed that the second and third floors of what will eventually be a 17-story tower have already...

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Aqua: Before and After COVID
Sep19

Aqua: Before and After COVID

We’ve all seen, read about, or stumbled across the restrictions placed on Chicago due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s another illustration of how things have changed. A before-and-after look at the pool deck at the Aqua tower. The Aqua pool deck, before and after COVID-19 restrictions (Base photos courtesy of YoChicago!) As a former Aqua resident, I often thought the pool deck was unnecessarily festooned with deck chairs,...

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Historic Water Tower Gets Preservation Funds
Sep19

Historic Water Tower Gets Preservation Funds

When you live in a city as vast and interesting as Chicago, it’s easy to get lost staring at your own bellybutton.  But there is a whole lot more Illinois beyond the south suburban pumpkin patches. One of those places is Havana, which is located about half way between Peoria and Springfield on the Illinois River.  Like many downstate communities, it claims to be where Al Capone would go to get his nature on.  More...

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The 411 on 601 West Randolph in the West Loop
Sep13

The 411 on 601 West Randolph in the West Loop

Four months ago, an alert reader noticed some people poking around at 609 West Randolph Street. He told us. We told you. Then last month, the project became official, as 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly started talking about a new development for the corner of Randolph and Jefferson in the West Loop. Now, paperwork has been filed with the city to get this office building built. Rendering of 601 west Randolph (Va the Office of...

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Chicago’s Newest Mega Development: North Union
Sep13

Chicago’s Newest Mega Development: North Union

Chicago has seen more than its share of huge developments in recent years. The 78, Riverline, Lincoln Yards, and the River District, are just a few that are already being built, or poised to start filling Chicago’s downtown region with new skyscrapers, homes, offices, and whatnots. The newest name on the roster is “North Union.” According to the Chicago Tribune, North Union is the flag that JDL Development wants to...

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Groundbreaking Date Set for Two West Town Buildings
Sep08

Groundbreaking Date Set for Two West Town Buildings

If you’re among those who keep shaking their heads over all the new construction projects happening in Chicago during what is somehow still the middle of a pandemic, don’t let this news make you dizzy: Two more large residential buildings will break ground next week. That word comes from Crain’s Chicago Business, which reports that Marquette Companies plans to put spades to earth next Thursday, September 17th. The...

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Divide and Conquer: Slicing Up Barneys to Make Oak Street Even More Boring
Sep08

Divide and Conquer: Slicing Up Barneys to Make Oak Street Even More Boring

It was just over a decade ago that luxury retailer Barneys New York opened its new Chicago flagship store at 15 East Oak Street. The international retail press fawned. Customers oohed and aahed. And as the city coped with what we thought was the worst recession in our lifetimes, this building was seen as a sign of confidence in Chicago’s retail market, and that the Windy City was more than the capitol of just another “hay...

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Crane Nests on Wolf Point for Salesforce Tower Chicago
Sep08

Crane Nests on Wolf Point for Salesforce Tower Chicago

Labor Day is over, and so the world returns from summer vacation and gets back to work. Or it would, if more than half of the people in Chicago weren’t working from home because of asshats like my coworker who has violated Chicago’s travel-to-a-hideously-infected-state-and-get-a-free-quarantine rules. Twice. With that out of our systems, we turn to what’s happening on Wolf Point, where hardhats busy erecting...

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Mayor’s Invest South/West Program May Save An Art Moderne Bank Building
Aug29

Mayor’s Invest South/West Program May Save An Art Moderne Bank Building

We’re starting to see the first signs of something more than press releases coming out of Mayor Lightfoot’s INVEST South/West program to revitalize chronically overlooked portions of the city. One of those signs is a proposal to redevelop the old Laramie State Bank building on Chicago Avenue in the city’s Austin neighborhood. August 2020 rendering of 5200 West Chicago (Via the Chicago Department of Planning and...

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Radical Surgery Will Transform A Building You Never Noticed Into A Building You Might Notice
Aug29

Radical Surgery Will Transform A Building You Never Noticed Into A Building You Might Notice

Some architecture stands out. Some architecture blends in. And then there’s architecture that is a cognitive blind spot. Fifty East Huron is an example of what happens when a building goes for inoffensive and ends up with invisible. 50 East Huron (Via Apple Maps) The building used to be the home of the American Library Association. It sold the building in December of 2019, packing up and bookmobiling it across the Chicago River...

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