Chicago Preservationists Get a Present From Pritzker: The Thompson Center Lives
Dec19

Chicago Preservationists Get a Present From Pritzker: The Thompson Center Lives

The Thompson Center, once widely considered to be an ex-parrot, has gone from “stick a fork in it” to “put a ring on it” faster than reality TV dating show. Governor Pritzker announced that he’s in talks with a Prime Group to buy and rehabilitate the office building at 100 West Randolph Street. It is one of the most loved and hated buildings in downtown. We haven’t seen such mixed emotion from the...

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Chicago’s Third-Tallest Building to Add a Floor
Nov20

Chicago’s Third-Tallest Building to Add a Floor

You know how when you get a brand new car, the first time you leave it in a Jewel parking lot, someone manages to roll a cart into the shiny shiny paint? Something like that is happening in Lakeshore East. St. Regis-Chicago Hotel and Residences and a Little Bit of Retail and a Restaurant and a Parking Garage. (Courtesy of YoChicago!) The Saint Regis Chicago still has that new skyscraper smell, but already someone has decided to make...

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Here’s What Makes The Chicago Theater so Special
Oct30

Here’s What Makes The Chicago Theater so Special

This week the Chicago Theater turned one hundred years old. You, me, and dozens of millions of tourists know it as an icon of the city. Chicago Theater (file) Much has been written about the building by architects and historians and other people of letters. But when it comes to sizing up history, we always like to go to that most Chicago of Chicagoans, Carl Sandburg. He was there on October 26, 1921 when it opened; and those who...

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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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