From the Air, the Jane Byrne Reconstruction Looks Fascinating, Not Frustrating
Nov09

From the Air, the Jane Byrne Reconstruction Looks Fascinating, Not Frustrating

Not everyone who lives in or visits Chicago enjoys a car-free existence.  And for them, there is the Jane Byrne Interchange. November 2020 construction at the Jane Byrne Interchange (Courtesy of YoChicago!) We haven’t talked about it much since reconstruction commenced on the intersection of the Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Ryan Expressways.  Partly because it’s been going on for eight years, and mostly because you can get the...

Read More
Another Hotel Coming to Downtown Chicago
Oct26

Another Hotel Coming to Downtown Chicago

The tourists are few and far between these days, but there are plenty of people who are getting ready for the outstaters to flood back into town.  Among them, Praia Management Group, which wants to open a new hotel at 862 North Orleans Street. October 2020 rendering of 862 North Orleans The Chicago Plan Commission has approved what is listed in the paperwork as “Stob Hotel.”  It’s a brand we have not heard of before, and...

Read More
Le Colonial’s Former Colony Under Siege
Oct26

Le Colonial’s Former Colony Under Siege

It’s been a very long time since we would stand in the shadows outside of 937 North Rush Street and startle passing tourists who only noticed us out of the corners of their eyes.  Good times. Back then, 937 was the home of Le Colonial, one of the Gold Coast’s social touchstones.  A frequent haunt of shopgirls and their clients, ladies who lunch, and people trying to channel their inner Graham Greene or Somerset Maugham over...

Read More
Divide and Conquer: Slicing Up Barneys to Make Oak Street Even More Boring
Sep08

Divide and Conquer: Slicing Up Barneys to Make Oak Street Even More Boring

It was just over a decade ago that luxury retailer Barneys New York opened its new Chicago flagship store at 15 East Oak Street. The international retail press fawned. Customers oohed and aahed. And as the city coped with what we thought was the worst recession in our lifetimes, this building was seen as a sign of confidence in Chicago’s retail market, and that the Windy City was more than the capitol of just another “hay...

Read More
Plan For 113-Story Magnificent Mile Skyscraper Hits City Hall
Jan16

Plan For 113-Story Magnificent Mile Skyscraper Hits City Hall

A new 1,400-foot-tall skyscraper slated for the Magnificent Mile has taken a big step forward on the shiny glass road from fantasy to fantastic. Plans for Tribune Tower East have officially been filled with the city.  January 2020 diagram of Tribune Tower East November 2019 rendering of Tribune Tower East (via CIM Group) The building will have 113 floors of hotel rooms, apartments, and condos; and climb 1,442 feet into the sky.  This...

Read More
By a Thousand Cuts: Another Tiny Slice of Gold Coast History to be Chopped
Nov04

By a Thousand Cuts: Another Tiny Slice of Gold Coast History to be Chopped

If you walk down the Oak Street Retail Corridor your eye may be caught by fancy brand names, people with impossibly polished skin, and the place where Governor Blagojevich used to get his famous hair famously cut before now getting clipped at a federal pokey in Colorado.  But if you look beyond what is commonly seen to what is not commonly seen, you will see two things: architecture and history. 113 East Oak Street (July 2007) The...

Read More
Art Institute of Chicago Buildings Getting a Makeover
Sep12

Art Institute of Chicago Buildings Getting a Makeover

One of the city’s most important buildings is in for a change.  Spanish architecture powerhouse Barozzi/Veiga plans to transform the Art Institute of Chicago’s multi-building campus which sprawls across the Metra tracks in Grant Park. The Art Institute’s good side (file) The company is named for its founders, Fabrizio Barozzi and Alberto Veiga. We wanted to assess their museum chops, but unfortunately, there’s...

Read More
Navy Pier Flyover Almost Reaches Lake Shore Drive Bridge
Jul23

Navy Pier Flyover Almost Reaches Lake Shore Drive Bridge

It’s been a lot of years that cyclists, rollerbladers, walkers, people pushing prams, and just anyone who enjoys walking along Chicago’s lakefront have been waiting for the Navy Pier Flyover to be completed.   While northern sections have been done and open to the public for some time, the key bottleneck in the whole lakefront parade — the Lake Shore Drive Bridge — is still a work in progress. Loop Spy Joel sent in these...

Read More
A Fulton Market Office Building that Actually Won’t Change the Neighborhood
Jun18

A Fulton Market Office Building that Actually Won’t Change the Neighborhood

It seems like each day brings news of another piece of West Town’s industrial history being turned into a  playground for the young-and-would-be-rich-if-not-for-their-student-loans. 1234 West Fulton Market (Via Apple Maps) But today we’re happy to report that the low-slung manufacturing building at 1234 West Fulton Market will NOT be replaced by a glitzy high-rise with a fake brick facade on the lower floors to blend in...

Read More
Navy Pier Flyover Now Flying Over DuSable Park
Mar21

Navy Pier Flyover Now Flying Over DuSable Park

If you went downtown for the greening of the river last weekend, you may have wondered what’s the skinny on the Navy Pier Flyover. Well, dear shamrock shaker, things are moving along. Navy Pier Flyover under construction (Courtesy of Streeterville Spy Joel) Streeterville Spy Joel sent in the photograph above showing construction of the multi-purpose path’s spine going over DuSable Park. This is work on phase two of three...

Read More