Shedd Aquarium Splashes Half-Billion Dollar Renovation Plan
Jan11

Shedd Aquarium Splashes Half-Billion Dollar Renovation Plan

One of Chicago’s best attractions wants to shell out big clams to lure in new visitors. The Shedd Aquarium has announced its Centennial Commitment, in which it plans to spend $500,000,000 renovating the aquatic life museum. It’s called “Centennial” because the idea is to have it done in time for the aquarium’s 100th anniversary. Shedd Aquarium (file) We waded through the “advance solutions,”...

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Something Stirring at DuSable Park
Nov10

Something Stirring at DuSable Park

It’s been a little over a year since the Environmental Protection Agency finished removing radioactive soil from what will some day become DuSable Park, at 401 North Lake Shore Drive. Since then, the seed that was sprayed on the new hill has mostly sprouted, and the place has been pretty quiet. Until recently. DuSable Park in November, 2021. (Courtesy of Streeterville Spy Brian.) Streeterville Spy Brian was out there this week,...

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It’s Like The 606, Only With an Active Train Line Right Next to You
Oct06

It’s Like The 606, Only With an Active Train Line Right Next to You

The City of Chicago is chugging ahead with another rails-to-trails plan. This one involves two miles of the elevated CSX viaduct just north of West Roosevelt Road between South Kostner Avenue and South California Avenue. A section of the CSX embankment that may become The Altenheim Line rails-to-trails project. (Via Apple Maps) “But wait,” your Chicago mind map says, “That isn’t abandoned. I’ve seen...

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Today’s the Unofficial Start of Construction on the Obama Center
Aug16

Today’s the Unofficial Start of Construction on the Obama Center

It’s been a long time since a ribbon cutting actually marked the start of work on a large construction project. We’ve seen everything from surveying to site prep to foundations to buildings reaching their third floors before all of the bankers, lawyers, and dreamers could be assembled for the all-important grip ‘n’ grin photo that will be put in one corporate newsletter and then forgotten forever. October 219...

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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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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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New Buildings Continue Pushing West, Surrounding Union Park
Mar08

New Buildings Continue Pushing West, Surrounding Union Park

Union Park, once known for music festivals and immigration marches, is getting yet another tall neighbor.  West suburban Naperville developer Marquette wants to put up a residential high rise right across the street.  March, 2021 diagram of 140 North Ashland. The proposal is for a 210-unit apartment building at 140 North Ashland Avenue, on the west side of Union Park, immediately south of the CTA’s Ashland Station, serving the...

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West Loop Parking Lot Targeted for 2-Tower 1,000+ Apartment Plan
Feb20

West Loop Parking Lot Targeted for 2-Tower 1,000+ Apartment Plan

There are two things that never give up hope: Dogs, and the surface parking lot next to Heritage Green Park. Model of 625 West Monroe by SMDP. The 250-space West Loop slab at 601 West Monroe Street has been the subject of at least four redevelopment plans since we started publishing 18 years ago.  From a modest 20-something-story office tower to smdp’s angular 38-story BP Tower to the 75-story office slant floated in 2013....

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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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New Renderings, Info For Lakefront Skyscraper Duo
Mar14

New Renderings, Info For Lakefront Skyscraper Duo

Editor’s note:  These days pretty much everyone is worried about the Wuhan Flu. With a full-time gig for a healthcare company, we understand.  We’ve also noticed that a lot of the more irreverent online publications aren’t publishing anymore because the world is a much more serious place now.  We understand that, too.  But as rabid news consumers, we also understand that sometimes you need an...

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