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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Architects Not Giving Up On The Thompson Center
Jun21

Architects Not Giving Up On The Thompson Center

There is no shortage of opinions about what to do with The Thompson Center, sulking at 100 West Randolph Street like that sad, oversized kitten that nobody wants quietly mewing in the corner of the viewing room at PAWS. The Thompson Center (File) In our off-the-record conversations with Chicago architects over the last 18 years, sentiment has shifted from balanced pessimism to outright exasperation in some quarters.  In 2003,...

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Plan Picked to Primp Pritzker Park Parking Place
Jun21

Plan Picked to Primp Pritzker Park Parking Place

The City of Chicago has chosen which building it wants to replace the forlorn parking garage at 331 South Plymouth Court, behind Pritzker Park in The Loop.   June. 2021 rendering of 331 South Plymouth Court. (Via the City of Chicago.) You can read all about the contest that led up to this decision by following this link.  It’s basically a word salad of self-important recent college grad buzzwords, so we’ll break it...

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Video: High-Viz CTA Station Getting Bulbous Rebuild
Jun14

Video: High-Viz CTA Station Getting Bulbous Rebuild

One of the most public L stations in Chicago is next in line for Extreme Makeover: Transit Edition. June, 2021 rendering of the CTA State/Lake Station. (Via the Chicago Transit Authority.) The CTA’s State/Lake station hangs over its eponymous street intersection, and is frequently seen in television shows, movies, and discount wedding photographs.  If you’ve ever alighted here, you know the platform is way too narrow, even...

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Loop Skyscraper Opens, Brings Coffee
Jun14

Loop Skyscraper Opens, Brings Coffee

If you didn’t already love Parkline Chicago for deleting a crappy parking garage from a vibrant corner of downtown, here’s another reason to love it: It’s getting a Starbucks. Parkine Chicago. (Photograph by Sean Henderson. Courtesy of Moceri + Roszak.) The condos atop the building at 60 East Randolph Street were delivered less than a month ago, and now the building’s owners have announced that the ubiquitous,...

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Three Chicago Architects Reflect on The Thompson Center
Jun02

Three Chicago Architects Reflect on The Thompson Center

When architects get together in their buttery leather chairs and tweed jackets, sitting in front of a roaring fireplace, stuffing pipes, drinking cognac, and doing other fictional things, one of the common topics of conversation is the James R. Thompson Center.  It’s become something of a parlor game to try to come up with ways — practical and impractical — of dealing with the former state office building that seems all but...

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Deconstructionist Thompson Center A Step Closer to Being Deconstructed
Jun01

Deconstructionist Thompson Center A Step Closer to Being Deconstructed

Inside the Thompson Center rotunda. (File) Chicago City Council has approved an ordinance that will help whomever buys the James R. Thompson Center to turn it into rubble. The ordinance is short.  Just three sentences.  But it will have a massive impact on downtown Chicago.  If you’d like to read it, here it is: BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO: SECTION 1. Title 17 of the Municipal Code....

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After a Pandemic Pause, Chicago Architecture Center Fully Reopens
Jun01

After a Pandemic Pause, Chicago Architecture Center Fully Reopens

The start of Chicago’s summer tourist season was a far cry from the way it was back in the Before Times.  What passed for “bustling” this year would have been considered “ghost town” in years past.  But with only half of Illinoisans properly jabbed, perhaps it’s good that we’re not all breathing each other’s air just yet.  Those who did go out and do the tourist thing...

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You Are Now Free to Fly Over Navy Pier
May19

You Are Now Free to Fly Over Navy Pier

The days of old people being bodychecked into traffic by yoga moms with double-wide strollers are in the past. At least on North Lake Shore Drive. The Navy Pier Flyover is officially open for all of your walking, jogging, running, biking, and general sweating needs. The Navy Pier Flyover in May, 2020. (Via the Office of Alderman Brendan Reilly.) Until now, getting from Ohio Street Beach to DuSable Harbor involved navigating a dark,...

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Loop Skyscraper Stalled, Blames COVID
May02

Loop Skyscraper Stalled, Blames COVID

If you’re a theoretical physicist, you’re probably familiar with the phrase “nature abhors a vacuum.” Chicago real estate developers have a similar adage: “City Hall abhors a vacant Loop lot.” That’s why when a real estate developer gets approval to put up a skyscraper in Chicago, it generally has six years to start moving dirt, or the city will force it back to square one. August, 2015...

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