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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Lakeshore East and Lakefront Chicago Now Properly Linked
Jun27

Lakeshore East and Lakefront Chicago Now Properly Linked

With the warmer weather, and the shedding of masks, come thoughts of being outdoors. Preferably, someplace green. Soon, downtown Chicagoans will have a new slice of veldt upon which to throw blankets and catch rays: Cascade Park. June, 2021 rendering of Cascade Park. (Courtesy of Lendlease.) Named for the skyscraper that sprouts next to it, the privately owned public space is part of a project cultivating three residential skyscrapers...

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Pinstripes Prevail on Lakeshore East Skyscrapers
Mar10

Pinstripes Prevail on Lakeshore East Skyscrapers

We’re happy to admit when we’re wrong. Or as our seventh-grade teacher used to say, “You pulled a boner.” She must have really been something in the 1940’s. Earlier this week we stated that pinstripes are out of fashion, both in clothing and in Loop skyscrapers. Today, we get around to reading the Sunday New York Times, and in its smudgy pages are full-page ads for both Armani and Ralph Lauren pinstripe...

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New Chicago Skyscrapers Look Good in Pinstripes
Mar08

New Chicago Skyscrapers Look Good in Pinstripes

There was a time when people got dressed up to go into The Loop.  But ever since it somehow became OK to wear sweatpants in The Walnut Room, the only place you’ll see a fedora is on a Metra train headed to the north suburbs. Cirrus and Cascade under construction in March, 2021. (Courtesy of Loop Spy C.) That’s why it’s so delightful to see Cirrus and Cascade, the newest skyscrapers going up at Lakeshore East,...

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Aon Center’s 80’s-Themed Plaza Removed
Jan25

Aon Center’s 80’s-Themed Plaza Removed

It sounds like something James Brown would sing: “You gotta get down to get on up.” Such is life at Chicago’s Aon Center. December, 2020 rendering of the Aon Center’s south plaza (Courtesy of the Office of Alderman Brendan Reilly) Until recently, in order to access the 83-story building from its address of 200 East Randolph Street, one had to use a small elevator or a set of stairs to descend from street level...

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What’s Underneath Chicago’s Urban Parks? Disappointment, If You’re a Worm
Jan17

What’s Underneath Chicago’s Urban Parks? Disappointment, If You’re a Worm

It’s always fun to listen in to tourists at Millennium Park ooh-ing and aah-ing at the amazing job the City of Chicago has done preserving such a large slice of nature in the heart of the city. The vast majority of them don’t know that underneath the wild-looking flowerbeds, the stately lawns, and the carefully channeled rivulet is a vast parking garage, and a commuter train station. But that’s OK. They came to...

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Two New Loop Skyscrapers Top Off
Jan14

Two New Loop Skyscrapers Top Off

While the bulk of the architectural press in Chicago has been focused on the St. Regis Chicago tower, just a block away two other skyscrapers have been quietly growing in its shadow. Well, “quietly,” unless you live in Lakeshore East, which has been under constant development since we started publishing way back in 2003. But such are the perils of urban living. January, 2021 rendering of Cirrus (Courtesy of Lendlease)...

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O, No! Last Lakeshore East Skyscraper Downsized Again
Jan11

O, No! Last Lakeshore East Skyscraper Downsized Again

The plan for the last skyscraper in Lakeshore East in The Loop has been revised again. Building O will occupy the cleft between Aqua and 300 East Randolph. Eventually. We’ve been waiting for Building O for some time now. Even moreso after an Aqua leasing agent swore up and down that no building would ever be built in that space, blocking anyone’s views. Ever. Prominse. Pinky swear. Days later, the first plan for Building O...

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Bowing Down Before Saint Regis in The Loop
Jan03

Bowing Down Before Saint Regis in The Loop

Remember back at the beginning of the pandemic, when we were all going to use our quarantine time to learn a new language, read Somerset Maugham, and write The Great American Novel? Somehow none of that happened. Like a Big Gulp cup on the side of the Edens, all those aspirations somehow escaped our grasps. Just like the New Year’s resolutions we made 75 days earlier to be nicer to Larry in accounting, call our mothers more...

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With Vista in the Rear Mirror, Focus Shifts to Cirrus and Cascade
Dec08

With Vista in the Rear Mirror, Focus Shifts to Cirrus and Cascade

We’ve been watching Lakeshore East evolve since before construction started, and this is the first time that it’s had three skyscrapers under construction at the same time:  St. Regis, Cirrus, and Cascade. Cascade under construction (Courtesy of YoChicago!) Lots has already been written about the St. Regis Tower, formerly the Vista Tower, formerly the Wanda Vista Tower, (formerly the Dailan Wanda Vista Tower), so...

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