Top 10 Picks for Open House Chicago 2021
Oct15

Top 10 Picks for Open House Chicago 2021

With Chicago’s COVID positivity rate at about the same potency as three-two beer, you may be thinking about zipping off your Tyvek suit and sniffing around a perfect Autumn weekend in Chicago. If so, we recommend grabbing a pumpkin spice whatever and downloading the app for Open House Chicago 2021 (Apple | Android). These are our picks for this annual architecture festival. You can click on the addresses to open a map for easy...

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Setback For Planned West Loop Residential Skyscraper
Sep10

Setback For Planned West Loop Residential Skyscraper

A developer’s plan to build a residential skyscraper in the West Loop has hit a roadblock. The plot in question is bounded by West Madison Street, South Desplaines Street, West Monroe Street, and the Kennedy Expressway. It has the address 655 West Madison Street. The location of 655 West Madison Street (Base map via Apple Maps) An unknown developer recently asked the city how many residential units it might be allowed to build...

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Tiny West Loop Park Getting a Great Big Skyscraper
Sep06

Tiny West Loop Park Getting a Great Big Skyscraper

“There’s plenty of room for a thousand new homes next to Heritage Green,” said nobody ever. But that’s what’s about to happen now that the Chicago Plan Commission has approved Jamal Properties’ commissioned plan to put up two SCB-Designed skyscrapers on a pair of surface parking lots between the over-loved patch of grass and the five-building Presidential Towers complex. August, 2021 rendering of...

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West Loop Skyscraper Gets Tweaked for Small Dogs
Jun14

West Loop Skyscraper Gets Tweaked for Small Dogs

The plan to replace a pair of downtown surface parking lots with a pair of pretty-good-sized skyscrapers at 601 West Monroe Street has been revised. June, 2021 rendering of the dog park at 601 West Monroe. (Via the Office of Alderman Brendan Reilly.) When we gave you the bird’s eye low down on this caper last month, we noted that adding over a thousand new homes to this block of the city was going to bring Urinetown to the West...

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West Loop High Rise Gets New Renderings
Jun07

West Loop High Rise Gets New Renderings

With the office building going up at 609 West Randolph Street all topped off and everything, you might think that you’ve seen about all there is to see until it’s completed.  Nope. June, 2021 rendering of 601 West Randolph. (Courtesy of Antunovich Associates.) The boffins over at Antunovich Associates have put together a new set of pictures showing what the project will look like when it’s done later this year....

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Kennedy Canyon Closer to Completion
Jun01

Kennedy Canyon Closer to Completion

The long-term plan to line the Kennedy Expressway with skyscrapers like some 1990’s Japanese video game is about to take another big leap forward.  Chicago City Council has approved 640 West Washington Street. December, 2020 rendering of 640 West Washington 640 (“Six” to her friends) is going to be a 515-foot-tall residential tower hard on the edge of the highway, snuggled between R+D659, and The Catalyst.  It...

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Two-Tower West Loop Skyscraper Plan Advanced
May23

Two-Tower West Loop Skyscraper Plan Advanced

Plans for a two-tower residential complex across the street from the five-tower Presidential Towers complex in the West Loop have hit paper. February, 2021 rendering of 601 West Monroe Street This is the 3,874th plan we’ve seen for 601 West Monroe Street in the last 20 years, but it appears to be the one with the best chance of succeeding.  The other ones were pretty, and interesting, and we really liked the sloping BP Americas...

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How did 601 West Randolph Go Up So Quickly? Skender Pours the Beans
May18

How did 601 West Randolph Go Up So Quickly? Skender Pours the Beans

Have you ever asked yourself, “Self, how did 601 West Randolph go from hole in the ground to ‘Hey, look at that!’ so quickly?” Go ahead and admit it. We know you have. West Loop Spy Kurt’s divining rod points to Skender Construction, the Fulton Market builder of highly rising things, including this high rise. He points out that the Skendarians kept to a tight schedule: The first four pours (floor 2-5)...

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601 West Randolph Tops Off, Parties Hardy
May16

601 West Randolph Tops Off, Parties Hardy

In an event full of that special combination of suits and hardhats that makes bankers pose for selfies, the West Loop’s newest high rise topped off on Tuesday. You weren’t invited. The topping off of 601 West Randolph Street. (Courtesy of West Loop Spy Kurt.) 601 West Randolph is the name of the 15-story building in question, designed by Antunovich Associates for Vista Development. It’s actually at 609 West Randolph,...

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BMO Tower Tops Off, Signs Up
Apr24

BMO Tower Tops Off, Signs Up

The 51-story office tower going up across the street from Chicago Union Station has stopped going up, and is now only filling out. The BMO Tower at 320 South Canal Street topped off last week. When complete, it is expected to reach 727 feet into the West Loop sky. 2019 rendering of BMO Tower, formerly Union Station Tower. (Courtesy of Goettsch Partners.) The building will add 1,500,000 square feet of office space to downtown Chicago...

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