Top 10 Picks for Open House Chicago 2021
Oct15

Top 10 Picks for Open House Chicago 2021

With Chicago’s COVID positivity rate at about the same potency as three-two beer, you may be thinking about zipping off your Tyvek suit and sniffing around a perfect Autumn weekend in Chicago. If so, we recommend grabbing a pumpkin spice whatever and downloading the app for Open House Chicago 2021 (Apple | Android). These are our picks for this annual architecture festival. You can click on the addresses to open a map for easy...

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Crane Coming Down at 300 North Michigan
Oct11

Crane Coming Down at 300 North Michigan

A tower crane going up is a good sign of progress in the construction of a new skyscraper.  A tower crane coming down is even better. That’s what’s expected to happen this week at 300 North Michigan Avenue.  The eponymous mixed-use building designed a couple of blocks away by bKL Architecture is approaching that special level of doneness where it no longer requires something big and swingy to do the heavy lifting. 300...

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Results of Thompson Center Contest Show the Thompson Center is Doomed
Sep14

Results of Thompson Center Contest Show the Thompson Center is Doomed

Back toward the beginning of the Summer, we told you that the Chicago Architecture Center and the Chicago Architecture Club were holding a contest to come up with ideas for re-using, rather than razing, The Thompson Center — that beloved and behated former state office building lurking at 100 West Randolph Street like an awkward teen-ager in the shadows of a high school dance. The best and brightest architecture minds in the world...

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We’re Just Months Away From the Start of Two New Wacker Drive Office Towers
Sep10

We’re Just Months Away From the Start of Two New Wacker Drive Office Towers

Documents filed with the City of Chicago reveal that advanced planning is underway to build two new office buildings on South Wacker Drive, immediately south of the Willis Tower. They also show that construction should start by next Summer. The locations of 301 South Wacker and 321 South Wacker. (Base map via Apple Maps) The buildings, which will bear the addresses of 301 South Wacker and 321 South Wacker will be on the same block as...

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Geofoam Rave at the Aon Center
Jul20

Geofoam Rave at the Aon Center

If you like to spend your hot summer lunch breaks sitting by the fountain in front of the Aon Center noshing a turkey club from the Au Bon Pain in the pedway, it’s time to find another place for your lunch munch. July, 2021 photograph of Aon Center plaza construction. (Courtesy of Loop Spy Mike.) Loop Spy Mike sent in these pictures showing the current state of the 83-story skyscraper’s sunken plaza.  It’s a mess. ...

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bKL Up for Michigan Avenue’s Newest Skyscraper
Jul20

bKL Up for Michigan Avenue’s Newest Skyscraper

The latest skyscraper to light up what used to be a forgettable stretch of North Michigan Avenue appears to be making great progress. Construction of 300 North Michigan Avenue in July, 2021. (Courtesy of Loop Spy Mike.) Loop Spy Mike sent in these pictures of construction at 300 North Michigan Avenue.  The Sterling Bay and Magellan Development project designed by bKL is rising across the street from the historic and awesome Carbide...

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Bank Chasing a New Downtown Tower Location (*cough* Thompson Center *cough*)
Jul11

Bank Chasing a New Downtown Tower Location (*cough* Thompson Center *cough*)

People who love the 60-story Fuji-shaped skyscraper at 10 South Dearborn Street are used to seeing it change names.  It was built as First National Bank Plaza. Then it became Bank One Tower. And it eventually adopted the Chase Tower name we know today.  Now that “Chase” brand may find a new home. Chase Tower (File photo) The Chicago Tribune reports that Chase is shopping around for a location for a new trophy tower.  The...

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Lakeshore East and Lakefront Chicago Now Properly Linked
Jun27

Lakeshore East and Lakefront Chicago Now Properly Linked

With the warmer weather, and the shedding of masks, come thoughts of being outdoors. Preferably, someplace green. Soon, downtown Chicagoans will have a new slice of veldt upon which to throw blankets and catch rays: Cascade Park. June, 2021 rendering of Cascade Park. (Courtesy of Lendlease.) Named for the skyscraper that sprouts next to it, the privately owned public space is part of a project cultivating three residential skyscrapers...

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Architects Not Giving Up On The Thompson Center
Jun21

Architects Not Giving Up On The Thompson Center

There is no shortage of opinions about what to do with The Thompson Center, sulking at 100 West Randolph Street like that sad, oversized kitten that nobody wants quietly mewing in the corner of the viewing room at PAWS. The Thompson Center (File) In our off-the-record conversations with Chicago architects over the last 18 years, sentiment has shifted from balanced pessimism to outright exasperation in some quarters.  In 2003,...

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Plan Picked to Primp Pritzker Park Parking Place
Jun21

Plan Picked to Primp Pritzker Park Parking Place

The City of Chicago has chosen which building it wants to replace the forlorn parking garage at 331 South Plymouth Court, behind Pritzker Park in The Loop.   June. 2021 rendering of 331 South Plymouth Court. (Via the City of Chicago.) You can read all about the contest that led up to this decision by following this link.  It’s basically a word salad of self-important recent college grad buzzwords, so we’ll break it...

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