GEMS Upper School Gets More Permits
Feb12

GEMS Upper School Gets More Permits

The second GEMS World Academy (355 East Wacker Drive) school building in Lakeshore East has been given the green light to start another round of construction.  The City of Chicago has issued permits to start work on the part of the bKL Architecture project that you might actually see. FOUNDATION AND SUPERSTRUCTURE FROM LOWER WACKER TO UPPER WACKER TO INCLUDE UNDERSLAB PLUMBING FOR PROPOSED 13-STORY GRADE 8 – 12 SCHOOL.  CAISSON...

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Design of bKL’s Second GEMS Academy Building Gets Refined
Jan17

Design of bKL’s Second GEMS Academy Building Gets Refined

It looks like it’s full steam ahead for the second GEMS Academy school in Lakeshore East.  As soon as Old Man Winter gives us a break. The building planned for 355 East Wacker Drive, now going by the name GEMS World Academy Chicago Middle-Upper School, already has its caissons in place under the lakefront loam.  Word is that foundation permits are expected to be issued within the next two weeks.  Then, once winter abates a...

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Paperwork Filed For New Dore Elementary School in West Clearing
Nov21

Paperwork Filed For New Dore Elementary School in West Clearing

The super-secret plan for a new Dore Elementary school is finally on paper in an official form. Paperwork has been filed with the city’s zoning board to make it a reality. John C. Dore Elementary School in the West Clearing neighborhood, near Midway Airport, is going to be replaced by a brand new school at West 65th Street and South Nottingham Avenue. The announcement was made in meetings in May described as...

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Lincoln Park High School Getting Long Overdue Upgrades
Nov15

Lincoln Park High School Getting Long Overdue Upgrades

One hundred sixteen years is apparently long enough for Chicago’s Lincoln Park High School to go without being fully air conditioned. A chilly retrofit is one of a number of improvements on the way as part of a $20 million renovation package announced recently. Forty-Third Ward Alderman Michele Smith has been teasing her constituents for a while about a “big announcement” coming regarding the infrastructure of the...

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Cash-Strapped, Half-Empty CPS Will Build a New School in the South Loop
May24

Cash-Strapped, Half-Empty CPS Will Build a New School in the South Loop

The Chicago Public Schools system faces  a billion dollar deficit, and has endured multiple rounds of layoffs and school closings over the last few years as the city’s population decreases.  But none of that is stopping Mayor Rahm Emanuel from promising a select group of citizens that new schools are coming to their neighborhoods. WBEZ radio has gotten its hands on a list of 16 new schools hizzonor plans to put up around the...

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Lincoln Park Loses Its Edge
Apr19

Lincoln Park Loses Its Edge

It only took a matter of hours for demolition crews to clear the corner of Clark Street and Schubert Avenue in Lincoln Park, then only a few more hours for the City of Chicago to issue a permit for the new AltSchool project to be constructed at 2720 North Clark Street. Hirsch Associates has designed a two-story, 20,000-square-foot building for the site, with retail space slated for the ground floor, while AltSchool occupies the second...

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Steelers Visit Walter Payton College Prep
Jul17

Steelers Visit Walter Payton College Prep

 ` Just over a year ago, we were waiting patiently for the decision on funding for a new annex to be built at Walter Payton College Prep High School (1034 North Wells Street). As anyone who’s ridden the Brown Line between the Chicago Avenue and Sedgwick stops can attest, the funding was approved, and construction has begun. What’s visible now is mostly just a skeleton, but it’s a steel skeleton. And those are the...

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Another GEMS Rising on the Lakeshore
May11

Another GEMS Rising on the Lakeshore

If things aren’t already muddy over at 355 East Wacker Drive, they soon will be. That’s because the first round of permits have been issued for the second GEMS World Academy hoohool building at Lakeshore East. The foundation permits were issued a few weeks ago for the school building designed by friends-of-the-blog, bKL Architecture. Gems Phase II – Foundation systems only for proposed 13-story grade 5 – 12 school with...

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New Elementary School Coming to West Lawn
Dec23

New Elementary School Coming to West Lawn

Chicago’s West Lawn neighborhood is going to get a new elementary school.  The as-yet-unnamed school is going by the moniker “Southwest Area School” for now. Chicago Architecture Blog managing editor Mary Chmielewicz was there when the city’s Plan Commission approved the proposal from the city’s Public Building Commission. The school will go up on the northern half of a block bounded by West 61st...

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Status Update: British School South Loop
Dec08

Status Update: British School South Loop

By the time you read this, Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, will be waking up to their first full day in New York, enjoying the smell of fresh urine, the sounds of cabbies arguing over a fare, and the aggressive panhandling of “actors” dressed up in ragged, sweat-soaked cartoon costumes.  All the things New York is famous for. In honor of their visit to the colonies, and because someone in my household is...

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