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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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A Little Skyscraper Abracadabra Along Grant Park
Nov07

A Little Skyscraper Abracadabra Along Grant Park

Sometimes the monotony of life becomes a way of life.  Keep your head down.  Stay off the boss’ radar.  Don’t attract attention.  But keeping our heads down, while a common survival skill, prevents us from seeing the marvels the city of Chicago serves up around us every day. You don’t need Cher to give you a wet slap across the face to snap out of it.  Just look at the animation below. Joe Zekas of YoChicago! sent...

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See How Chicago Grows
Nov06

See How Chicago Grows

It’s no secret that Chicago’s Near North side has grown by leaps and bounds over the last five years.  But how do you show that visually? Some people try maps.  Some use charts.  Others write long-winded blog posts that seemingly have nothing to do with the topic at hand. (Guilty!)  But Joe Zekas over at YoChicago! has a better way: A single photograph. Well, it’s actually two photographs.  One taken in 2013, and...

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The Stunning Before-and-After Pics of Second Presbyterian’s Peace Window Restoration
Aug06

The Stunning Before-and-After Pics of Second Presbyterian’s Peace Window Restoration

Some of the most amazing pieces of architecture in Chicago are its churches.  And one of the best churches in town has just been given a significant upgrade. Second Presbyterian Church (1936 South Michigan Avenue) in the South Loop recently had one of its big windows re-installed after a $312,000 restoration. The Peace Window was badly damaged, and encrusted with a hundred years of filth.  If you think the dirt on your office windows...

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