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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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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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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Downtown Chicago Could Get 11 New Skyscrapers This Week
Oct15

Downtown Chicago Could Get 11 New Skyscrapers This Week

If there’s a skyscraper nerd in your office, don’t be surprised if he calls in sick on Thursday.  That’s the day the Chicago Plan Commission considers the largest number of new skyscrapers for downtown Chicago since August of 2014, when four new towers were on the docket. This time, there are 11 major buildings in play: 700 at the River in River West 1,500 total residences 497 car parking spaces Total FAR: 8.1...

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O, My — Combo Tower to Finish Lakeshore East Puzzle, Expand Pedway
Oct01

O, My — Combo Tower to Finish Lakeshore East Puzzle, Expand Pedway

If you’ve ever spent a rainy winter’s eve listening to gospel music on a distant AM radio station, drinking Mr. Pibb out of a Mason jar while putting together a Nancy Drew jigsaw puzzle from Goodwill because your girlfriend left you and took both the dog and the TV remote, then you know the satisfaction that can be found in finally fitting that last cardboard squiggle in place, sealing the edges with your index finger, and...

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Lakeshore East Tower Trio Tipped in Text
Sep24

Lakeshore East Tower Trio Tipped in Text

It looks like the plan to build three new skyscrapers in the northeast corner of Lakeshore East is getting ready to move forward. Ordinance number 2018-7759 has been filed with the city’s zoning committee.  The contents of the ordinance have not been made public as of this writing, but it is a request to re-zone the land where Magellan Development and LendLease plan to erect three new bKL-designed skyscrapers, almost completing...

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