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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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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