Best Places to View the Chicago Cityscape
Oct31

Best Places to View the Chicago Cityscape

Home to the first skyscraper, Chicago, Illinois, set a precedent of what can be accomplished with imagination, perseverance, and a little bit of iron and steel. Architectural visionaries and engineering geniuses pioneered the way, creating the blueprints of what is now Chicago’s remarkable cityscape. Here at Expedia Viewfinder, examining and learning about architecture is one of our favorite ways to explore any location. Because its...

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Waving a Magic Wanda
Oct29

Waving a Magic Wanda

Are you the sort of person who enjoys rejection? Need to feel like everybody hates you?  Well, have I got a way to feed your beast.  Start asking Chicago’s leading architects and developers about the Wanda Tower.  You’ll get the door slammed in your face faster than a ketchup salesman in Wrigley Field. Ever since the richest man in China put out a press release stating that he was going to build an 11-hundred-foot-tall...

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The Blackstone Hotel’s Roles In Presidential And Movie History
Oct29

The Blackstone Hotel’s Roles In Presidential And Movie History

If it’s clean sheets, free HBO and a continental breakfast you’re after, any Hampton Inn off the interstate will do the job. For history and pedigree in overnight lodging, you’ll have to search a little harder. The Renaissance Blackstone Hotel at 636 South Michigan Avenue fits the bill nicely. The 1908 structure was one of the most ornate and stately tour venues from the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s 2014 Open House Chicago....

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Eviscerating an Old Friend
Oct27

Eviscerating an Old Friend

  The billion-dollar transformation of venerable* Wrigley Field (1060 West Addison Street) continues, with major changes evident from the outset.  We’ve been to the Wrigley renovation rodeo before, and knew for a long time that the changes would be dramatic, but there’s still something disturbing about seeing diggers hacking the venerable ballpark to pieces before our eyes. Chicago Architecture Blog photographer...

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Status Update: Taking a Shine to a Virgin
Oct23

Status Update: Taking a Shine to a Virgin

The outside of the world’s first Virgin Hotel (203 North Wabash Avenue) is just about done, while work continues apace inside the hotel for its debut in just a matter of weeks. You can see workers applying coats of shiny silver paint to a segment of the building’s decorative facade.  The exterior has been cleaned and repointed from top to bottom.  Even the bits of decoration that nobody outside of this blog will ever see...

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Status Update: Transferring to Block37
Oct20

Status Update: Transferring to Block37

For the last few weeks we’ve been showing you photographs of the latest construction at Block37, where an apartment tower is being added to the mall and office tower. That tower will rest on concrete slabs and a steel truss that will transfer the weight of the new building above onto the existing columns already inside the mall.  In these photographs, you can see the 30-foot-tall steel transfer truss being assembled on the roof....

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Slice of Life: Bright Lights, Big City
Oct20

Slice of Life: Bright Lights, Big City

As much as we dread Chicago winters, they make for spectacular nighttime skyline shots. What? An architect in Houston once explained to me that skyscrapers in Chicago tend to be brighter than those in southern, warmer cities because those buildings use glass that is designed to aggressively keep the sun and heat of the day out.  The result is dimmer office building windows at night, and less pretty nighttime skyline photos. This...

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A Coat of Paint, or the Start of a New Skyscraper?
Oct20

A Coat of Paint, or the Start of a New Skyscraper?

Loop Spy Otto (Really?  “Otto?”) sent in these photographs of the parking garage at 200 West Randolph Street getting a new paint job.  Why is that so interesting?  Because the wall being panted is planned to be the common wall joining John Buck Company’s new 151 North Franklin. The city of Chicago approved construction of the 36-story office building designed by John Ronan in April of this year.  Since then, the...

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Ghost of Prentice Still Haunts Northwestern Campus
Oct15

Ghost of Prentice Still Haunts Northwestern Campus

It’s the time of year for ghosts, phantoms, and things that go bump in the night.  After the tumultuous lead-up to the tear-down of the former Prentice Women’s Hospital, it’s not surprising that Northwestern University might see some residual specters every now and then. Streeterville Spy Collette sent in these two current images from Northwestern that include an apparition of the past. One appears to be a brochure...

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Status Update: Block37½
Oct14

Status Update: Block37½

The long-awaited residential portion of the Block37 retail/office/hotel/residential/transit development is progressing in earnest. Just days after the city issued construction permits and a formal announcement was made by owner CIM Group, workers were spotted on the roof vacuuming up the gravel.  A couple of weeks later, and the construction has entered a much more serious phase, complete with sidewalk barricades and steel beams....

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