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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Michigan Avenue Eyesore to be Replaced by Homes and Hotel Tower
Jul22

Michigan Avenue Eyesore to be Replaced by Homes and Hotel Tower

The northwest corner of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Place has never been very much.  In fact, its glory days were probably before there was a Chicago, when it was the reedy home to minnows, snails, and the occasional soggy moccasin lost in the mud. Now it looks like the old brick warehouse-turned-office/retail building that squats on that corner today will make way for a 523-foot tall skyscraper designed three blocks away by bKL...

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110 North Wacker Rises, Bringing Scads and Oodles Along the River
Jul16

110 North Wacker Rises, Bringing Scads and Oodles Along the River

Birds, monkeys, and lumberjacks know the best way to see the forest is from the trees.  That’s why people have been flocking to Chicago’s observation decks for at least 70 years to look down, out, and around at the city’s architecture. Other people who get to see the city from up on high include white collar business executives, construction workers, and web site owners like Joe Zekas from YoChicago!.  He took...

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Pretty Much the Last Thing You Want to See at Top of Willis Tower
Jun12

Pretty Much the Last Thing You Want to See at Top of Willis Tower

There’s a reason thrill rides are called “thrill” rides. People engage in them for the thrill of cheating death. Even if the chance that something life-shortening might happen is 0.000001%, it’s still a thrill to ride a roller coaster, parachute from a plane, or mention Aunt Margie’s mole at Thanksgiving dinner. What a fully-functioning floor at The Ledge is supposed to look like (File) Huggies were...

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Loop Plot Zoned For a 600-Foot Tower Getting a 140-foot Hotel
Jun02

Loop Plot Zoned For a 600-Foot Tower Getting a 140-foot Hotel

There was a time when we’d sit in the Starbucks in the Hotel Allegro, write stories about architecture, and gaze through the rain wondering what might become of the surface parking lot next to the wonderful Randolph Tower (188 West Randolph Street). 180 West Randolph Street The wondering is now over, as 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly has told his constituents that the West Loop’s Convexity Properties wants to put up a...

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Planned Loop Tower Two Stories Shorter, and 40% Closer to Reality
May20

Planned Loop Tower Two Stories Shorter, and 40% Closer to Reality

It’s been a year and a half since Crain’s Chicago Business let the cat out of the bag about 50 East Randolph Street. Back then, the Thomas Roszak proposal was expected to replace a grungy parking garage with what was speculated to be a 27-story residential tower. Our guess was 35 to 40 stories, and we were totally wrong. May 2019 rendering of 50 East Randolph (Courtesy of the Office of Alderman Brendan Reilly) Forty-second...

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New Residential Tower Targets a Different Loop Dweller
May09

New Residential Tower Targets a Different Loop Dweller

For much of The Loop’s recent renaissance, the people moving downtown were college students and young urban professionals in search of the excitement of the big city. Sure, there were pockets of older urban pioneers along Randolph Street and a few other crannies, but they were pretty much a statistical rounding error. May 2019 rendering of 424 South Wabash Now a Florida company wants to bring the older set to the neighborhood in...

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Chicago Places Join Giraffes on Endangered List
May08

Chicago Places Join Giraffes on Endangered List

Just days after the Fish and Wildlife Service started talking about adding giraffes to its endangered species list, Landmarks Illinois put out its annual list of the Prairie State’s most endangered places.  There are a dozen entries on the list, with three in Chicago, three in the surrounding area, and the remainder scattered across the state.  Here’s the endangered dozen: Chicago The Thompson Center James R. Thompson...

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