Piecing Together Streeterville’s Newest Skyscraper
Jul16

Piecing Together Streeterville’s Newest Skyscraper

Chicago is not New York.  It can’t be said enough. Chicagoans wear black because we’re modest.  New Yorkers wear black because it’s fashionable.  Chicagoans wring their hands and worry about being a “global city.”  New Yorkers didn’t even know there was a contest. And when a New York real estate developer decides to build a new skyscraper, there’s a big announcement with balloons and dancing...

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New West Town Tower Liked by Neighbors, the Savior of a Beloved Bank
Jul09

New West Town Tower Liked by Neighbors, the Savior of a Beloved Bank

Last night, residents of Greektown, West Town, and the West Loop gave a collective thumb’s up to the new residential tower proposed for the intersection of Lake and Halsted Streets. The skyscraper, which is currently using the name 171 North Halsted, will replace a dilapidated hardware store and provide much-needed apartments in an area where the residents have traditionally been wary of  those of us with transient lifestyles....

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Supertall Skyscraper Planned Along Chicago River at Lakeshore East
Jul08

Supertall Skyscraper Planned Along Chicago River at Lakeshore East

Prolific Chinese real estate developer and investment company Wanda Group has announced that it will build a new 1,150-foot-tall skyscraper in Chicago. Wanda Group isn’t a household name in Chicago… yet. But it has big plans to move into the American real estate development sector very aggressively in the near future. It already has 55 five-star hotels and 78 department stores in China. In America, you may know it as the...

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Returning Chicago’s Most Famous Community Organizer to His Community
Jul07

Returning Chicago’s Most Famous Community Organizer to His Community

There are more than a dozen cities, institutions, schools, and private organizations currently engaged in a bungee-cord tug-of-war, with the winner landing the Barack Obama Presidential Library.  No matter where it ends up, it will have a huge economic, social, and tourism impact for the winner, which is why places from New York to Hawaii are trying to get in on the action. Not surprisingly, several sites are here in Mr. Obama’s...

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Cabrini Getting Less Green: Urban Farm Chopped for Residential Building
Jul07

Cabrini Getting Less Green: Urban Farm Chopped for Residential Building

One of Chicago’s summer blessings are the tiny little urban farms that spring up year after year on disused plots of land across the city. I’m a big fan of urban gardening. When I lived in Cincinnati, I grew corn in long plastic troughs on my balcony, and pumpkins that I was never able to harvest because the vines carried the fruit far into a neighboring tree. When I lived in Houston, my apartment balcony was filled with fruiting lime...

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Controversial High School Expansion Lands at Plan Commission
Jul07

Controversial High School Expansion Lands at Plan Commission

Next week, the Chicago Plan Commission is scheduled to take up the thorny issue of the Walter Payton College Prep High School expansion (1034 North Wells Street). Last October, Mayor Rahm Emmanuel announced the $17 million annex would be built on the site of a school parking lot.  This came while the Chicago Public School system was still smarting from a round of school closings and teacher layoffs. The money for the expansion will...

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200 North Michigan: The Incredible Shrinking Skyscraper
Jul02

200 North Michigan: The Incredible Shrinking Skyscraper

If you’ve been saving your pennies so that you can live on the 44th floor of the shiny new residential tower going up at 200 North Michigan Avenue… It may be time to re-think that plan. That’s because the 44th floor no longer exists.  Nor does the 43rd or the 42nd.  In fact, the entire skyscraper has been downsized about 9% from 537 feet tall to 488 feet tall. According to papers filed with the city by the developer,...

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Downtown Chicago’s Hotel Development Party Crashed by Alderman Reilly
Jun27

Downtown Chicago’s Hotel Development Party Crashed by Alderman Reilly

For the past five years or so, developers simply couldn’t jam enough hotels into downtown Chicago.  Every available space within sniffing distance of Michigan Avenue scoped, measured, diagrammed, and investigated for its potential to house a hotel.  Hotels popped up in surface parking lots, replaced empty storefronts, even old apartment buildings got into the act, asking the city to please please please let them convert to a...

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Lucas Losers Part 2: 25 More Chicago Places That Han Shot First
Jun27

Lucas Losers Part 2: 25 More Chicago Places That Han Shot First

Yesterday we published an article mentioning that there were 57 places in Chicago considered for the new Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.  While the politicians, lawyers and preservationists work out whether the site south of Soldier Field is legal or not, we thought we’d show you the 56 places that weren’t up to snuff. If you missed locations one through 30, click here to read yesterday’s list.  If you’ve...

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The Lucas Losers: 56 Chicago Places That Didn’t Make the Museum Grade
Jun26

The Lucas Losers: 56 Chicago Places That Didn’t Make the Museum Grade

Chicagoland’s science fiction enthusiasts are still walking a little taler in their Hush Puppies today, two days after it was announced that the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will be built right in their front yards.  Contrary to the baseless internet rumor we’re trying to spread, the decision wasn’t made because summer in Chicago looks like Alderaan, and winter in Chicago looks like Hoth (-pause for laughter-).  The...

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