Another Loop Skyscraper Expanding Upward, Getting Open-Air Observatory
Jan07

Another Loop Skyscraper Expanding Upward, Getting Open-Air Observatory

We’ve written a number of times about buildings in Chicago that were erected with vertical expansion in mind.  300 East Randolph is the most visible example, but there are others like 168 North Michigan and Union Station. Now another one of The Loop’s skyscrapers is getting a vertical expansion.  But you probably won’t notice it unless you work in, or adjacent to, the building in question: Beacon Capital...

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GEMS School in Lakeshore East Will Be Less Colorful
Dec26

GEMS School in Lakeshore East Will Be Less Colorful

Remember when the GEMS Chicago Lower School went up on the edge of Lakeshore East Park, and everyone gave it a big round of applause in part because of its colorful facade that was a tip of the hat to the foliage, buildings, and other elements of the surrounding environment?  That was pretty awesome. Then remember when the GEMS Chicago Upper School was announced and it, too, was going to be an interesting compilation of hues meant to...

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This is What a 95-Story Skyscraper Does to Chicago’s Skyline
Dec18

This is What a 95-Story Skyscraper Does to Chicago’s Skyline

Chicago has one of the world’s great skylines.  And some of the things that make it great are the supertall buildings that punctuate it like the paper tape from a politician’s lie detector test. You’ve known for years that the construction of Magellan Development’s Vista Tower would be a skyline-changing event.  Now just in time to impress your downstate relatives coming to visit for Christmas, we can really...

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Aon Center Elevator Attraction Looks Like A Go
Dec17

Aon Center Elevator Attraction Looks Like A Go

Late this week the Chicago Plan Commission is expected to vote on whether to allow the new owners of the Aon Center to clamp a glass elevator to the northwest corner of the city’s third-tallest building and put a thrill ride on the roof. If you’re not into that whole “waiting for stuff to happen” thing, here are some tea leaves for you to read: It’s gonna happen. How can we prognosticate in such an...

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What Grows During a Chicago Winter? Skyscrapers!
Dec10

What Grows During a Chicago Winter? Skyscrapers!

We’re still months away from the triumphant, intrepid return of the tulips and daffodils in Chicago’s parks, parkways, and park-like medians.  But amid the gloom of day and threat of snow, the city is still able to raise a bumper crop of our favorite wintertime produce: skyscrapers. For example, the concrete beanstalk sprouting at 110 North Wacker Drive, seen below in a photograph from Loop Spy Chris. According to Goettsch...

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Every Web Page About the Aon Center is About to Become Wrong
Nov12

Every Web Page About the Aon Center is About to Become Wrong

If you’re a fan of Wikipedia, the wannabe encyclopedia that’s the equivalent of asking a bunch of strangers at a bus stop to do your homework, it will soon need to be updated.  Along with the 8,643 other web sites that catalog skyscraper heights. Right now, the Aon Center’s “architectural height” is 1,136 feet.  That means to the top of the mechanical room that hides all of the HVAC equipment.  That space...

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110 North Wacker Pushes Above Street Level
Nov06

110 North Wacker Pushes Above Street Level

The Loop’s newest skyscraper is finally visible to all passers-by, so get ready to gawk. 110 North Wacker was previously only visible to people commuting on Lower Wacker Drive, and tourists taking a Chicago River cruise.  Now its concrete elevator core has risen high enough that it can be plainly seen by anyone who cares to cast a glance in its direction. These photos from Loop Spy Chris show the core in full sprout mode on the...

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Does Magellan Development’s Vista Tower Deliver on Views?  See For Yourself!
Oct24

Does Magellan Development’s Vista Tower Deliver on Views?  See For Yourself!

If Magellan Development names a new building “Vista,” it should probably have some decent views.  And if that building is located on the Chicago River, those views should be somewhat above average.  And if the building is 95 stories tall, the views really almost certainly should be singularly spectacular, right? We’re happy to report: Correct on all counts. Joe Zekas, of YoChicago!, went up to the 70-somethingth...

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Vista Tower Scrapes Sky In Lakeshore East, Windows Going In
Oct22

Vista Tower Scrapes Sky In Lakeshore East, Windows Going In

If you’ve been wondering about Magellan Development’s Vista Tower lately — and we know you have — word on the street is that things are progressing nicely. The Studio Gang-designed residential and hotel tower, which will absolutely positively not look anything at all like three adjacent stacks of Chinese take-out boxes, is already tall enough to look down on former Lakeshore East belle of the ball, Aqua.  Aqua was designed...

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You Get a Skyscraper! And You Get a Skyscraper!
Oct18

You Get a Skyscraper! And You Get a Skyscraper!

In its most Oprah-riffic maneuver since the great Skyscraper-palooza of 2014, the Chicago Plan Commission approved a slew of new skyscrapers for the Windy City. In a series of votes today, the commission approved plans for 18 new towers for downtown Chicago.  To put that into a completely inaccurate and meaningless comparison, it’s like Chicago just got Indianapolis added to its skyscraper menagerie. 700 at the River The Plan...

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