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. ...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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,...

Read More
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...

Read More
Video: High-Viz CTA Station Getting Bulbous Rebuild
Jun14

Video: High-Viz CTA Station Getting Bulbous Rebuild

One of the most public L stations in Chicago is next in line for Extreme Makeover: Transit Edition. June, 2021 rendering of the CTA State/Lake Station. (Via the Chicago Transit Authority.) The CTA’s State/Lake station hangs over its eponymous street intersection, and is frequently seen in television shows, movies, and discount wedding photographs.  If you’ve ever alighted here, you know the platform is way too narrow, even...

Read More
Loop Skyscraper Opens, Brings Coffee
Jun14

Loop Skyscraper Opens, Brings Coffee

If you didn’t already love Parkline Chicago for deleting a crappy parking garage from a vibrant corner of downtown, here’s another reason to love it: It’s getting a Starbucks. Parkine Chicago. (Photograph by Sean Henderson. Courtesy of Moceri + Roszak.) The condos atop the building at 60 East Randolph Street were delivered less than a month ago, and now the building’s owners have announced that the ubiquitous,...

Read More
Three Chicago Architects Reflect on The Thompson Center
Jun02

Three Chicago Architects Reflect on The Thompson Center

When architects get together in their buttery leather chairs and tweed jackets, sitting in front of a roaring fireplace, stuffing pipes, drinking cognac, and doing other fictional things, one of the common topics of conversation is the James R. Thompson Center.  It’s become something of a parlor game to try to come up with ways — practical and impractical — of dealing with the former state office building that seems all but...

Read More
Deconstructionist Thompson Center A Step Closer to Being Deconstructed
Jun01

Deconstructionist Thompson Center A Step Closer to Being Deconstructed

Inside the Thompson Center rotunda. (File) Chicago City Council has approved an ordinance that will help whomever buys the James R. Thompson Center to turn it into rubble. The ordinance is short.  Just three sentences.  But it will have a massive impact on downtown Chicago.  If you’d like to read it, here it is: BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO: SECTION 1. Title 17 of the Municipal Code....

Read More