Change Coming to the Corner of State and Wacker
Dec18

Change Coming to the Corner of State and Wacker

If you were hanging around western Turkey 2,500 years ago and big into philosophers, you might have heard Heraclitus say something along the lines of “change is the only constant in life.”  The young Greek philosopher must have been inspired by astral projecting himself into modern-day Chicago, because it is absolutely true that the only thing that doesn’t change in downtown Chicago is the fact that downtown...

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The 46-Story Loop Skyscraper No One is Talking About
Dec16

The 46-Story Loop Skyscraper No One is Talking About

A city-enforced clock is ticking on a new residential tower planned for a vacant plot of land just off of Michigan Avenue.  Thirteen years ago we reported that 210 North Stetson was going to be a 74-story SCB-designed Mandarin Oriental Hotel.  That idea was scotched when the economy ate itself. In 2017 a couple of our City Hall sources whispered to us that a developer was sniffing around this property for use as a residential...

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Wayback Wednesday: 73 East Lake Street
Dec11

Wayback Wednesday: 73 East Lake Street

With 16 years of Chicago architecture photos in our archive, it’s time to hook up the electrodes, snap into a Slim Jim, and set the Wayback Machine for December 11, 2012: Seven years ago today. 73 East Lake under construction in December 2012 (file) That’s when we took this photograph of 73 East Lake rising in The Loop. Back then, 73 was only six stories tall, and had zero residents. Today the building built by M&R...

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A South Loop Skyscraper Breaks Ground Without Breaking Ground
Oct28

A South Loop Skyscraper Breaks Ground Without Breaking Ground

It’s been a very long time since groundbreaking meant breaking ground.  Many decades ago the first groundbreaking ceremony I attended was for a television station.  A bunch of guys in suits and hardhats lined up with ceremonial brass shovels, stuck them in a trough of finely milled soil, and in a Blitzkrieg of flashbulbs, turned spades to mark the start of construction.  At that moment, the backhoes fired up...

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Getting Ready For Another Loop Skyscraper
Oct17

Getting Ready For Another Loop Skyscraper

It was just a few weeks ago that ground was broken for two of the final four skyscrapers destined to rise in Lakeshore East.  Now there are promising signs that a third tower will sprout soon. Pre-construction work for Building O (Courtesy of Loop Spy Jody) Loop Spy Jody dropped some pictures in our tip line after spotting a geotechnical crew doing soil sampling at 193 North Columbus Drive — the space between Aqua and 300 East...

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Hilton Finds a Way to Land Two New Hotels in The Loop
Oct07

Hilton Finds a Way to Land Two New Hotels in The Loop

After a feeding frenzy that lasted a few years, recently there has been a slight downtick in the ferocity of the development of new hotels in downtown Chicago.  It looks like developers are getting their second wind. 226 West Jackson Boulevard Hilton is the latest brand out of the gate with plans to put mints on pillows in The Loop.  It wants to plant two flags at 226 West Jackson Boulevard.  You may know it as the former...

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110 North Wacker About to Top Out… Off… Whatever
Oct07

110 North Wacker About to Top Out… Off… Whatever

The 53-story skyscraper that erased the vaguely Mid-Century General Growth Building is about to reach its penultimate height.  110 North Wacker kicked the squatty TuffShed-looking structure into the history books when Howard Hughes and Riverside Investment and Development decided to plant a Goettsch Partners design at this location. Rendering of 110 North Wacker (via Riverside Investments and Development) According to the Chicago...

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Groundbreaking Leaves Lakeshore East With Just Two Skyscrapers to Go
Sep18

Groundbreaking Leaves Lakeshore East With Just Two Skyscrapers to Go

With skyscraper nerds across the Midwest still giddy from yesterday’s groundbreaking ceremony for the Cirrus and Cascade towers in Lakeshore East, it’s worth tallying what’s left to build there.  The answer is: not much. There are just two more large buildings left to build at the complex that started its journey from wharf-side rail yard to model urban community over half a century ago.   August 2018 rendering...

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Here They Grow Again: Lakeshore East Breaks Ground on Two New Skyscrapers
Sep17

Here They Grow Again: Lakeshore East Breaks Ground on Two New Skyscrapers

Hands will be shaken, smiles will be flashed, and ground will be broken today on Cirrus and Cascade, the latest skyscrapers to rise at Lakeshore East.  They’re the newest towers to go up at the lake-adjacent former rail yard that Magellan Development has been turning into a rather nice residential community over the last couple of decades.  This time, Aussie Lendlease is lending a hand.  So to speak. Rendering of Cirrus...

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Art Institute of Chicago Buildings Getting a Makeover
Sep12

Art Institute of Chicago Buildings Getting a Makeover

One of the city’s most important buildings is in for a change.  Spanish architecture powerhouse Barozzi/Veiga plans to transform the Art Institute of Chicago’s multi-building campus which sprawls across the Metra tracks in Grant Park. The Art Institute’s good side (file) The company is named for its founders, Fabrizio Barozzi and Alberto Veiga. We wanted to assess their museum chops, but unfortunately, there’s...

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