Watching the Watchers: The Webcams on Chicago’s Skyscrapers
Sep27

Watching the Watchers: The Webcams on Chicago’s Skyscrapers

Internet cameras have been around longer than the world wide web. We installed one of the planet’s first public webcams way back during the Clinton administration. It showed the Houston skyline as a hurricane swept through the city. Not many people watched it, largely because there weren’t that many people who had computers capable of streaming internet video back then. Things have changed, and now you can use your...

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Where Wacker Meets Field, Vista Tower Gets Complicated
Sep27

Where Wacker Meets Field, Vista Tower Gets Complicated

The construction of the Vista Tower at Lakeshore East fulfills a dream long-held by locals: A sane ending to Upper East Wacker Drive. For decades, this was a dead end, right in the heart of the city. It was only useful as a staging area for limousines, a viewing post for Navy Pier fireworks, and a trap for tourists who follow their nose instead of a map. ]Vista Tower under construction in September 2020 (Courtesy of YoChicago!) In...

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Aqua: Before and After COVID
Sep19

Aqua: Before and After COVID

We’ve all seen, read about, or stumbled across the restrictions placed on Chicago due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s another illustration of how things have changed. A before-and-after look at the pool deck at the Aqua tower. The Aqua pool deck, before and after COVID-19 restrictions (Base photos courtesy of YoChicago!) As a former Aqua resident, I often thought the pool deck was unnecessarily festooned with deck chairs,...

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Locusts Descend, Loot and Plunder Downtown Chicago — Again
Aug10

Locusts Descend, Loot and Plunder Downtown Chicago — Again

For the second time this summer, organized bands of thugs set upon downtown Chicago, pillaging the neighborhoods that make up the heart of the city. Downtown Chicago looting, August 10, 2020 The first time was May 30th, during the initial wave of protests over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Back then, while Chicago Police were busy with legitimate protesters, organized gangs of criminals hit The Loop, North Michigan...

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Pandemic Not Stopping Chicago’s Loop From Getting a New Skyscraper
Jul19

Pandemic Not Stopping Chicago’s Loop From Getting a New Skyscraper

A location where a grotty brick pile once hulked in The Loop will soon become a shiny new skyscraper, according to the Chicago Tribune.  Mr. Tribb reports that Sterling Bay and Magellan Development plan to break ground next month on a 47-story mixed use tower at 300 North Michigan Avenue. March 2019 rendering of 300 North Michigan Avenue We’ve been telling you about pending skyscraper plans for this location since 2017.  The...

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While You Were Away: 110 North Wacker Construction Continues
Jun21

While You Were Away: 110 North Wacker Construction Continues

As life in Chicago transitions from a pre-apocalyptic Stephen King novel to a post-apocalyptic Samuel Beckett play, you may notice some things have changed since most everyone went into hiding. 110 North Wacker under construction in June, 2020 (Courtesy of YoChicago!) For the most part, the city’s large construction projects moved forward, though sometimes at varying paces.  Among those that have progressed is 110 North Wacker,...

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Chicago’s Latest 101-Story Skyscraper Is Almost Fork-Ready
Jun17

Chicago’s Latest 101-Story Skyscraper Is Almost Fork-Ready

If you happen to have a 200-foot-long fork, get ready to stick it in the Vista Tower.  That thing is almost done. Vista Tower under construction (June 2020, courtesy of YoChicago!) The nice folks over at YoChicago! jabbed the photograph above into our tip line.  It shows that the major work on Chicago’s newest 101-story skyscraper is almost over.  You can tell because the skip is coming down. If you’re not up on...

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Construction Workers Continue Pounding Away on Lakeshore East
Jun07

Construction Workers Continue Pounding Away on Lakeshore East

As people slowly emerge from their spider holes to explore the lakefront they once knew and adored, the joggers, cyclists, and yoga moms will discover lots of changes at Lakeshore East. Cirrus and Cascade under construction (Courtesy of YoChicago!) As you can see in these photographs sent in by YoChicago!, work continues on both the Cirrus and Cascade residential towers going up between Lake Shore Drive and North Harbor Drive.  When...

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Construction Crews Filling Out (Concrete) Forms in Lake Shore East
May30

Construction Crews Filling Out (Concrete) Forms in Lake Shore East

If you used to cut through the badlands between Lakeshore East and Lake Michigan to catch some rays in the summertime, you’re in for a surprise when the lakefront opens to the public again.  The badlands are gone. Construction of Cirrus and Cascade in May, 2020 (Courtesy of Joe Zekas/YoChicago!) Joe Zekas at YoChicago! sent over the photograph above showing the construction progress of  Cirrus and Cascade.  Those are two of...

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Riverside Dining Coming to Under-Construction Wacker Drive Skyscraper
May26

Riverside Dining Coming to Under-Construction Wacker Drive Skyscraper

The skyscraper at 110 North Wacker isn’t done yet, but when it is, you’ll be able to sup al fresco.  Lightfoot willing. The Chicago Department of Planning and Development has given the go-ahead for the developers to tweak the plans for this building to include an outdoor dining patio its north side.  This will provide views of the Chicago River, the park across the waves beneath its Goettsch cousin 150 North Riverside, and...

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