Happy Birthday, Giant Perplexing Picasso
Aug07

Happy Birthday, Giant Perplexing Picasso

Is it a woman?  Is it a cow?  Is it a baboon?  We will never know, because enigmatic artist Pablo Picasso took the answer to the grave with him, having never visited Chicago or seen the work he graced the city with. But this month is the 50th anniversary of the erection of Picasso’s gift to the city in what was then called Civic Center Plaza.  Ever since, tourists and locals have gazed into its narrow-set eyes and puzzled at...

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Hotel EMC2 Opens in Downtown Chicago; Smart People Pack Their Bags
Aug01

Hotel EMC2 Opens in Downtown Chicago; Smart People Pack Their Bags

You don’t have to have crazy white hair and a Nobel Prize in physics to stay at downtown Chicago’s newest hotel.  SMASHotels recently swung the doors open at 228 East Ontario Street in Streeterville for Hotel EMC2, welcoming all to its eclectic interior and science-themed accouterments. For those of you who aren’t scienticians, “EMC2” is a nod to the law of mass-energy equivalence.  If all this is new to...

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465 North Park Looks Just Lobely
Jul31

465 North Park Looks Just Lobely

It hasn’t been that long, but it’s already time for another update on the construction of 465 North Park. In our last update, we were just starting to be able to see that this isn’t going to be yet another collection of rectangles glued together (apologies to its neighbor, the North Water Apartments/Loews Hotel Tower).  No, thanks to Pappageorge Haymes‘ multi-lobed design, 465 has more curves than a Vegas...

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A Familiar Name Returns to Gold Coast Hospitality
Jul31

A Familiar Name Returns to Gold Coast Hospitality

Sometimes things are better just left alone.  Is Marshall Field’s better now that it’s Macy’s?  Are White Hen Pantries better now that they’re 7-Elevens?  Is First Chicago better now that it’s Chase?  The answer to all three is “no.” (Seriously, Chase’s web site goes down more often than a West Virginia coal miner.) But it’s hard for big corporations to admit that things should be...

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You Can Tour Chicagoland’s Largest Infrastructure Project
Jul27

You Can Tour Chicagoland’s Largest Infrastructure Project

People love taking tours of places that few can go.  And people love seeing the inner working of Chicago’s built environment.  Those are two reasons that the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s annual Open House Chicago is such a big hit. If you’re the sort of person who looks forward to rare tours of constructed spaces, then the  Metropolitan Water Reclamation District has an opportunity for you. For a few weekends,...

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Construction Begins on Second GEMS Academy Building
Jul26

Construction Begins on Second GEMS Academy Building

Is it possible to start construction on a new school building in downtown Chicago without anyone noticing?  Yes, if you hide that construction in plain sight. The second GEMS Academy classroom building has begun construction on East Wacker Drive — right in the shadow of the massive 95-story Vista Tower going up in Lakeshore East. A formal groundbreaking ceremony was held in April of 2015, but construction is only now beginning in...

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One Bennett Park Joins The Streeterville Skyline
Jul26

One Bennett Park Joins The Streeterville Skyline

Streeterville’s newest skyscraper is making its presence known in the neighborhood skyline. New photos sent in by Joe Zekas over at YoChicago! show One Bennett Park has reached at least its 40th floor, and is probably taller than that by the time you read this. 1BP, as its friends call it, will eventually reach 70 stories, and over 820 feet in height.  Along with Building I at Lakeshore East, and the Vista Tower, it is among...

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Swedish Water Tower Soon to Return to Andersonville
Jul25

Swedish Water Tower Soon to Return to Andersonville

A neighborhood icon will soon return to Chicago’s north side. Edgeville Buzz reports that the replacement for Andersonville’s missing Swedish flag water tower will be put in place in the next few weeks.  Cranes have already been seen on location hoisting blue steel onto the roof of the Swedish American Museum to build the tower that will hold the building’s new water tank. You may remember the old one had to be...

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Downtown Chicago’s DuSable Park Closer to Becoming a Reality
Jul24

Downtown Chicago’s DuSable Park Closer to Becoming a Reality

For decades people have looked at the verdant peninsula of land sandwiched between the Chicago River and Ogden Slip and wondered how such a prime location escaped development, and wouldn’t it make a simply lovely park?  The answer to both questions is simple: Radiation. The four-acre plot, bounded on three sides by water and the fourth by Lake Shore Drive is officially known on city charts as “Jean Baptiste Pointe.”...

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New Greektown Tower Puts the O in Opa!
Jul24

New Greektown Tower Puts the O in Opa!

Move over simit, the next big round thing to hit Chicago’s Greektown neighborhood is about to sprout on the corner of Madison and Halsted. 727 West Madison has been given its full building permit from the City of Chicago.  Construction crews may now build Fifield and F&F Realty their full 45-story skyscraper in all its circular glory. A prominent location on the edge of the Kennedy Expressway along the city’s east-west...

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