A tree grows in Streeterville. And a bush. And a slide. And a sandbox.
Aug12

A tree grows in Streeterville. And a bush. And a slide. And a sandbox.

The greening of Chicago’s core continues, but not at the hands of the city’s Park District.  Instead many of Chicago’s newest parks come through the work of private firms building skyscrapers, and the parks are tacked on as revenue drivers, or out of political necessity. Bennett Park (August 2019. Photo by Cory Dewald, Courtesy of Related Midwest) The latest park to land in downtown is Bennett Park, in the core of...

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New Streeterville Park a Good Alternative to Crowded Maggie Daley
Jul08

New Streeterville Park a Good Alternative to Crowded Maggie Daley

There’s still more hammers and hard hats than tykes on bikes at Bennett Park in Streeterville, but not for long. Bennett Park under construction (July, 2019. Courtesy of Joe Zekas/YoChicago!) Joe Zekas from YoChicago! floated a new raft of photographs our way showing that the quasi-public space next to the new One Bennett Park skyscraper looks just about done. New York’s Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates is transforming...

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Refreshed Park May Sort of Honor One of Chicago’s Oddest People
May20

Refreshed Park May Sort of Honor One of Chicago’s Oddest People

There are lots of neighborhoods in Chicago that are short on parks. Streeterville is short two of them. First, there’s the long-promised, never-delivered, and no longer radioactive DuSable Park. City Hall has been promising that patch of greenery to its citizens since the Washington administration (Harold, not George). Bennett Park under construction (Courtesy of Joe Zekas/YoChicago!) Then there’s the park that’s...

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Awkward Crane Yoga Behind Trib Tower
Apr12

Awkward Crane Yoga Behind Trib Tower

The transformation of the treasured, historic, landmark Tribune Tower from the offices of a once-mighty media empire into 163 luxury condominiums continues in Streeterville. Some of the world’s most influential writers once parked here. Or at least their bosses did. (Courtesy of Joe Zekas/YoChicago!) The most visible sign of this recently showed up in the parking lot ’round back. That’s where Joe Zekas of YoChicago!...

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Navy Pier Flyover Now Flying Over DuSable Park
Mar21

Navy Pier Flyover Now Flying Over DuSable Park

If you went downtown for the greening of the river last weekend, you may have wondered what’s the skinny on the Navy Pier Flyover. Well, dear shamrock shaker, things are moving along. Navy Pier Flyover under construction (Courtesy of Streeterville Spy Joel) Streeterville Spy Joel sent in the photograph above showing construction of the multi-purpose path’s spine going over DuSable Park. This is work on phase two of three...

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One Bennett Park Opens as Newest, Tallest Skyscraper in Streeterville
Mar11

One Bennett Park Opens as Newest, Tallest Skyscraper in Streeterville

Five years ago, if you looked at a map of Streeterville and thought that there wasn’t any place left in the neighborhood for a really dramatic skyline-busting residential tower, a lot of people would have nodded in agreement. But that was before Related Midwest took the vacant lot behind its ward, 500 Lake Shore Drive, and paired it with the under-realized park next door to redefine the core of this quarter of Chicago. One...

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Is The City Trying To Hurry Up the Chicago Spire Replacement?
Jan28

Is The City Trying To Hurry Up the Chicago Spire Replacement?

We’re not going to pretend that we fully understand all of the nuances of the delicate waltz known as Chicago Zoning.  But something popped up on the radar that’s worth noting now, just in case it’s something later. 400 North Lake Shore Drive, Related Midwest’s replacement for the failed Chicago Spire, may soon have a deadline to begin construction. In March the Chicago Plan Commission will be asked to amend...

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Chicago Spire Replacement Not Dead Yet
Oct23

Chicago Spire Replacement Not Dead Yet

Yesterday we told you that 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly decided that Related Midwest’s two-tower plan for the space that failed to become the Chicago Spire is a non-starter. The alderman had a fair number of rather significant problems with the plan for 400 North Lake Shore Drive, including traffic, security, the big honking podium, and the mere existence of a hotel.  Fortunately, the height of the towers in the project...

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Alderman Spikes 1,100-Foot-Tall Chicago Spire Replacement
Oct22

Alderman Spikes 1,100-Foot-Tall Chicago Spire Replacement

In a blocking move that would make Hakeem Olajuwon say, “Oh, snap!” 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly pulled on his Bulls jersey, reached up with political hand spread wide, and blocked a planned supertower in Streeterville. The project in question was 400 North Lake Shore Drive, a pair of skyscrapers at the site of the long-dead Chicago Spire, and the even longer-dead Fordham Spire.  If you don’t know what either of...

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Dopes on a Rope: Urban Explorers Climb Two Chicago Construction Cranes
Jul25

Dopes on a Rope: Urban Explorers Climb Two Chicago Construction Cranes

There’s something about being young that makes you believe that you’re indestructible.  I can’t be all that critical of the feeling, because when I was a youth, I ate so many Doritos my corpse will never decompose. At least I had the sense not to climb to the top of a 900-foot-tall construction crane.  That’s just stupid. But that’s just what a youthful “urban explorer” codenamed Ugly Steffy...

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