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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110 North Wacker Gets Boot Straps, Pulls Itself Up Another Two Stories
Oct01

110 North Wacker Gets Boot Straps, Pulls Itself Up Another Two Stories

If you were disappointed that the plan for 110 North Wacker Drive lost its nice setbacks a few months ago, there’s a consolation prize.  Developers Howard Hughes, and Riverside Investment and Development have asked the city if they can add two more floors to the skyscraper. What was originally going to be a 51-story tower, then a 53-story tower, has now become a 55-story tower.  That is, if the city gives its blessing.  Which it...

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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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Eye Candy: New Renderings of the Willis Tower Renovation
Sep17

Eye Candy: New Renderings of the Willis Tower Renovation

EQ Office continues its half-billion dollar renovation of Chicago’s tallest building from a place exclusively for office workers and tourists into something more integrated with the evolving neighborhood. To that end, it is including  a new food court in Willis Tower’s new retail space, expected to open in 2020.   That Gensler-designed retail space is now called “Catalog,” an acknowledgement of Sears, the...

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A Chicago Architecture Mystery in America’s Loneliest Corner
Sep07

A Chicago Architecture Mystery in America’s Loneliest Corner

I spend a lot of time in the lesser-traveled corners of the nation.  Places where the roads are sand, the mines are lithium, and life is weird. In one of these places where internet service is even scarcer than water, and a plastic jug of gas is $20 a gallon (I shit you not), I found this relic of days past: Yes, that’s a pair of giant wrought iron… entrances.  And if you can read this, you’ve already read that the...

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New Name, New Home – The Chicago Architecture Center Opens Today
Aug31

New Name, New Home – The Chicago Architecture Center Opens Today

The organization that is the beating heart of Chicago’s architecture scene opens a new home today. The Chicago Architecture Center will open later this morning at 111 East Wacker Drive. It’s the new home for what used to be called the Chicago Architecture Foundation.  The Foundation has been a long-time resident of 224 South Michigan Avenue, the old Railway Exchange Building.  That building housed the organization’s...

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Revised Lakeshore East Plan is More Green and More of the Same [updated]
Aug29

Revised Lakeshore East Plan is More Green and More of the Same [updated]

The proposal to erect three new skyscrapers in the northeast corner of Lakeshore East took another step forward tonight. At the second public meeting about the project from Magellan Development and Lendlease, a revised plan received acknowledging nods, and not much else.  But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. When the first iteration was voilàed last July, few credible people had anything bad to say about bKL...

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Swissôtel’s Awkward Protrusion to Get Bigger
Aug28

Swissôtel’s Awkward Protrusion to Get Bigger

Since Lakeshore East is in the news this week, here’s a little nugget of neighbor news: The Swissôtel at 323 East Wacker Drive is getting a small expansion. If you’ve ever walked by the hotel, you may have noticed the awkward outdoor seating area next to the slightly-less-awkward annex that houses The Palm restaurant. That outdoor seating area is going away, to be replaced by an annex to the annex to the hotel in order to...

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♫ Lakeshore East / It Has a Plan / I-J-K-L-O ♫
Aug27

♫ Lakeshore East / It Has a Plan / I-J-K-L-O ♫

Channel your inner four-year-old, and sing along. Lakeshore East, it has a plan I – J – K – L – O And to this plan, were drawn some NIMBYS I – J – K – L – O With a “view” “view” here And a “school” “school” there Here a critic, there a critic Everyone’s a civic cynic Lakeshore East, it has a plan I – J – K – L...

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