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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Counting Down to the Vista Tower Opening
Feb10

Counting Down to the Vista Tower Opening

It’s said that the devil is in the details.  Today, there’s an angel buried in there, deep down inside 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly’s latest missive to his constituents.  That’s where we find out when Magellan Development’s Vista Tower is going to open in Lakeshore East. Rendring of the Wanda Vista Tower (Courtesy of Studio Gang) “Magellan expects for this to occur in the third quarter of...

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Getting Ready For Another Loop Skyscraper
Oct17

Getting Ready For Another Loop Skyscraper

It was just a few weeks ago that ground was broken for two of the final four skyscrapers destined to rise in Lakeshore East.  Now there are promising signs that a third tower will sprout soon. Pre-construction work for Building O (Courtesy of Loop Spy Jody) Loop Spy Jody dropped some pictures in our tip line after spotting a geotechnical crew doing soil sampling at 193 North Columbus Drive — the space between Aqua and 300 East...

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Groundbreaking Leaves Lakeshore East With Just Two Skyscrapers to Go
Sep18

Groundbreaking Leaves Lakeshore East With Just Two Skyscrapers to Go

With skyscraper nerds across the Midwest still giddy from yesterday’s groundbreaking ceremony for the Cirrus and Cascade towers in Lakeshore East, it’s worth tallying what’s left to build there.  The answer is: not much. There are just two more large buildings left to build at the complex that started its journey from wharf-side rail yard to model urban community over half a century ago.   August 2018 rendering...

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Here They Grow Again: Lakeshore East Breaks Ground on Two New Skyscrapers
Sep17

Here They Grow Again: Lakeshore East Breaks Ground on Two New Skyscrapers

Hands will be shaken, smiles will be flashed, and ground will be broken today on Cirrus and Cascade, the latest skyscrapers to rise at Lakeshore East.  They’re the newest towers to go up at the lake-adjacent former rail yard that Magellan Development has been turning into a rather nice residential community over the last couple of decades.  This time, Aussie Lendlease is lending a hand.  So to speak. Rendering of Cirrus...

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