Downtown Chicago Fertile Ground for Mechanical Beanstalks
Oct26

Downtown Chicago Fertile Ground for Mechanical Beanstalks

If you’re going to get jumped in downtown Chicago, try to be a crane. Cirrus and Cascade under construction (Courtesy of YoChicago!) Crane jumps are scheduled for this week at Lakeshore East.  Lendlease is increasing the height of the tower cranes building the Cirrus and Cascade residential towers on the southwest corner of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. The window for the big yellow beasts to become super-sized opened on...

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Jim Lowenberg 1934-2020
Oct19

Jim Lowenberg 1934-2020

The man who turned a grotty corner of The Loop into an architectural showcase and ushered in an age of downtown Chicago mega-developments has died. Jim Lowenberg was 86 years old. Lowenberg went into the family business after earning a degree in architecture from M.I.T. Building on a successful career designing skyscrapers around downtown Chicago, he helped found Magellan Development in 1996. That enabled him to create his crowning...

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Cirrus, Cascade Construction Continues
Oct05

Cirrus, Cascade Construction Continues

Since nobody except the employees of WBEZ have been to Navy Pier lately, chances are you’re not up to date on the construction progress of Cirrus and Cascade. Cirrus and Cascade under construction (Courtesy of YoChicago!) Fortunately, the lens crafters at YoChicago! are, and sent in these photographs taken from the roof of North Harbor Tower showing the progress on the two new skyscrapers at Lakeshore East. We hear that the ‘rona is...

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Sit Back, Breathe Deep, and Enjoy The Vista
Oct05

Sit Back, Breathe Deep, and Enjoy The Vista

What’s up with Chicago TV stations?  They spend heaps of money beaming beauty shots of the city’s skyline all over the place. So you’d think that we might occasionally see the Vista Tower make an appearance.  In the words of Jim Belushi, “But nooooo!” Vista Tower. (Courtesy of YoChicago!) We keep seeing the shuttered Pioneer Court Apple Store, the vacant wastes of State Street, and WGN’s interview set backdrop that’s so crusty, it...

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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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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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