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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110 North Wacker Ready to Go Vertical, Welcome Chicago Sparrows
Aug21

110 North Wacker Ready to Go Vertical, Welcome Chicago Sparrows

The Wacker Drive canyon is about to get a new cliff.  Gound-level foundation work is underway at 110 North Wacker, after weeks of demolition, clearing, and caisson work. Loop Spy Chris drilled a few recent pictures into our tip line showing work over the last few days.  You can see concrete being poured on the south end of the worksite, topping rebar from the caissons sticking out of the ground in nice, square trenches.  It’s a...

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Dopes on a Rope: Urban Explorers Climb Two Chicago Construction Cranes
Jul25

Dopes on a Rope: Urban Explorers Climb Two Chicago Construction Cranes

There’s something about being young that makes you believe that you’re indestructible.  I can’t be all that critical of the feeling, because when I was a youth, I ate so many Doritos my corpse will never decompose. At least I had the sense not to climb to the top of a 900-foot-tall construction crane.  That’s just stupid. But that’s just what a youthful “urban explorer” codenamed Ugly Steffy...

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Construction Update Two-Fer: Vista and Bennett
Jun01

Construction Update Two-Fer: Vista and Bennett

As Chicago’s skyline transforms itself once again, it’s easy to get a little crick in your neck looking up all the time.  So, instead it’s better to look out. As in this view looking out from NEMA Chicago, taken by Joe Zekas of YoChicago! last week.  It shows the progress of the Vista Tower in Lakeshore East in the foreground, with One Bennett Park in Streeterville in the background. Unlike most cities which have a...

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Aon Center is the Latest Skyscraper That Wants to Take You For a Ride
May15

Aon Center is the Latest Skyscraper That Wants to Take You For a Ride

If you want to “hang” at the Aon Center, 601W Companies is cool with that.  As long as you do it in its proposed 22-person glass pod hanging off the roof.  The New York real estate company has unveiled its $185 million proposal for turning a portion of Chicago’s third-tallest building into a tourist attraction. We’ve known since 601W bought the stoic skyscraper in 2015 for $173 million that it thought there was...

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Aon Center’s Glass Elevator-to-the-Sky to be Unveiled Tonight
May14

Aon Center’s Glass Elevator-to-the-Sky to be Unveiled Tonight

Glass as an amusement is a big thing these days.  It seems to have started with that glass bridge over the Grand Canyon on the Hualapai reservation in Arizona. Now we have a glass slide at the top of the U.S. Bank Building in Los Angeles.  The glass “ledges” at the top of the Willis Tower. The glass “tilt” mechanism at the top of 875 North Michigan.  And now the Aon Center is getting in on the transparent...

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Getting Around Willis Tower Getting Faster
May07

Getting Around Willis Tower Getting Faster

Getting around Chicago can sometimes be agonizingly slow.  No one wants to be stuck in traffic on the 151 bus when they’re going to a job interview.  Perhaps more frustrating, when you get to the location for your next gig, is having to wait forever for an elevator. That could happen less at Chicago’s tallest building, because the Willis Tower’s elevator system is getting a speed-enhancing overhaul. (You only get to...

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Digging Deep for a 51-Story Wacker Drive Skyscraper
Apr23

Digging Deep for a 51-Story Wacker Drive Skyscraper

It’s been a short while since the former GGP Building at 110 North Wacker Drive bit the dust.  Now that the dust has been removed, construction crews are getting down to business. Way down.  Like two stories below ground. As you can see in the photograph above sent in by Loop Spy Chris, crews are already below the level of Lower Wacker Drive, so we should see caissons being build fairly soon. When complete, the new Goettsch...

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One Bennett Park Peeks in on Grant Park
Mar27

One Bennett Park Peeks in on Grant Park

You’d expect a building with the statue of One Bennett Park (451 East Grand Avenue) to offer incredible views.  Now we can see just how incredible. In the photograph above of the construction of the 836-foot-tall One Bennett Park, taken from One Grant Park by Joe Zekas of YoChicago!, we can see a huge portion of the tower rising above Streeterville and Lakeshore East, gazing upon Grant Park. We also see that the amazing view...

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