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...

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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...

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60-Story Superior Street Skyscraper Surprise
Dec31

60-Story Superior Street Skyscraper Surprise

Developers backing a new Superior Street tower have lubed up the defibrillator paddles and jolted their patient back into City Hall. Loop North News reports that 40 East Superior has not assumed room temperature after all, as Symmetry Development filed a revised plan for the property on December 11th. March 2017 rendering of 40 East Superior (via Alderman Brendan Reilly’s Office) The last time this rodeo came to town, the prize...

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Planned Riverside Hotel/Office Tower Design Tweaked, Still Looks Fabulous
Dec17

Planned Riverside Hotel/Office Tower Design Tweaked, Still Looks Fabulous

Remember that plan from three years ago where someone wanted to wedge yet another hotel in along the Chicago River?  Well, that someone is still pounding away at it. August 2016 rendering of 322 North Clark The plan for 322 North Clark Street was to jam a 369-foot-tall HKS-designed hotel into the surface parking lot behind the Reid Murdoch Building.  The proposal was floated by Friedman Properties and included 500 hotel rooms, 85,000...

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Odd Chicago Zoning Rule Says No to Skyscraper, Yes to Typewriter Repair Shop
Dec12

Odd Chicago Zoning Rule Says No to Skyscraper, Yes to Typewriter Repair Shop

The history of Chicago is written in its zoning rules.  Leafing through the pages you get a sense of how successive generations used the letter of the law to shape the ways in which the city would grow and change. Since both history and urban planning are messy affairs, it’s not surprising to find grains of sand in these oysters of wisdom.  One of them surfaced recently at 401 North State Street, where the parking garage is...

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Abandoned Two-Story School To Become Eight-Story Hotel
Nov18

Abandoned Two-Story School To Become Eight-Story Hotel

Back when Chicago’s Immaculate Conception parish and Saint Joseph parish were individual communities, there was a school on the corner of Orleans and Hill Streets, next to Cabrini Green.  Saint Joseph School at 1035 North Orleans Street closed almost a decade ago, but a real estate developer is trying to re-open it as a hotel. 1035 North Orleans Street (via Apple Maps) The conversion involves adding six stories on top of the...

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OHC Photos: Wrigley Building
Nov07

OHC Photos: Wrigley Building

Small things can beget greatness. Look at the humble stick of chewing gum, which gave us the magnificent Wrigley Building. Jennifer Mishra of Wits End Photography got a chance to wander around the terra cotta gingerbread castle during the Chicago Architecture Center’s Open House Chicago event, and shared these photographs. (And if your building’s sidewalk is polka-dotted with black ovals of discarded flavor, this is a...

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Newberry Library Getting a 34-Story Bookend
Oct07

Newberry Library Getting a 34-Story Bookend

For the last 16 years, we’ve gloated every time a surface parking lot was erased from downtown Chicago.  Now it looks like a parking garage is about to meet that Great Urban Planner in the Sky, and we’re not sure how to feel about it. October 2019 rendering of 40 West Oak Street The garage in question serves the Warren Barr Pavilion, the mostly anonymous nursing home with the tony address of 66 West Oak Street in...

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No More Condos, New North Building Has a New Plan: Airbnb-Style Hotel
Sep16

No More Condos, New North Building Has a New Plan: Airbnb-Style Hotel

If you were worried that you wouldn’t be able to afford to lay your head in the swishy new luxury condominium building planned for 61 West Erie Street, there’s good news.  You may be able to pay by the day. September 2019 rendering of 61 West Erie. (via the Office of Alderman Brendan Reilly.) According to 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly, LG Development has ditched its plan to put up a 12-story residential block, and is...

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Small Apartments Making Big Progress on Clark Street
Nov12

Small Apartments Making Big Progress on Clark Street

The 800 block of North Clark Street seems like it’s been under construction since cows trotted along the LaSalle Street cattle path in The Loop. First it was the Bush Temple of Music at number 800 being renovated into apartments.  Then it was the LDS building being erected at number 816.  Now things are popping at 810 North Clark, where a mid-rise apartment building is going in from the same people who brought us the revamped...

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