LG Development Pitches Micro-Units at South Loop Meeting
Mar01

LG Development Pitches Micro-Units at South Loop Meeting

What would you do if you had a tiny lot just begging for improvement? Why, you’d build tiny apartments on it, naturally. Which is just what Chicago’s LG Development Group wants to do with the empty lot at 776 South Dearborn Street in the South Loop. At Monday night’s community meeting, hosted by the Near South Planning Board Monday night at the Hilton Chicago, LG announced plans to erect a 14-story building (with a...

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Gold Coast’s New Jewel Tower Gets Roughed
Nov19

Gold Coast’s New Jewel Tower Gets Roughed

When the final audience speaker of the evening praises Chicago’s NIMBY attitude for keeping the city honest and inhabitable, it might be hard to get a good read on the proceedings of a community meeting. Nevertheless, Tuesday evening a capacity room debated the merits and drawbacks of the new Jewel flagship store and 390-unit apartment tower proposed to replace the existing Gold Coast store at 1200 North Clark Street. The...

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City Hammers Restoration Hardware Over Three Arts Building
Sep05

City Hammers Restoration Hardware Over Three Arts Building

The plan to open a Restoration Hardware inside the historic Three Arts Club (1300 North Dearborn Parkway) in Chicago’s Gold Coast isn’t going anywhere for now. The Chicago Landmarks commission failed to approve the retailer’s plan to renovate the long-vacant building into a home goods store.  The proposal has been sent back to the landmarks committee for further discussion. The sticking point is that Restoration...

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Status Update: Starting a New Colony in The Loop
Aug11

Status Update: Starting a New Colony in The Loop

Chicago’s venerable Old Colony Building (407 South Dearborn Street) is undergoing a transformation.  CA Ventures is turning the 120-year-old Holabird & Root office building into student housing.  When it opens, it will have 488 beds in 108 residences. Uptown Spy Dan sent in these photos of the work well underway.  If you’re the sort of person who has a library of Chicago building photos, you may not quite recognize it....

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Status Update: Warner House Reconstruction
Mar26

Status Update: Warner House Reconstruction

It was just three months ago that the City of Chicago bestowed landmark status upon the beleaguered Augustus Warner House at 1337 North Dearborn Street.  The lovely Gold Coast home has been vacant for years, and preservationists worried it would crumble before it could be saved.  Then in June of last year, plans were unveiled to actually demolish the structure, setting the wheels of government in motion. Now the saving process is well...

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The Chicago Building That Inspired A Song And A Poem
Mar16

The Chicago Building That Inspired A Song And A Poem

Chicago buildings lay claim to many architectural firsts. Some structures past and present were cultural touchstones as well. One even had a song named after it—“Mecca Flat Blues.” Later, it became the setting for a major poem, “In The Mecca” by Gwendolyn Brooks. The Bronzeville apartment building at 34th and State Streets has been gone for more than 60 years, but it was significant for both its design and sociological reasons. Mecca...

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Walkin’ in Memphis? No, This is Dearborn Street
Oct24

Walkin’ in Memphis? No, This is Dearborn Street

It’s funky. There’s voodoo in the air. The green room isn’t green, but its bathroom bears the autographs of Lady Gaga, Michael J. Fox and countless other celebrities. If you figured out I’m not describing the First United Methodist Church, you’d be correct. This is the Chicago House of Blues. The Bertrand Goldberg-designed concert venue-restaurant-bar inside Marina City.  The venue was erected in 1967. During the CAF’s 2013 Open House...

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Smoking Hot Model: Chase Tower
Aug27

Smoking Hot Model: Chase Tower

  JPMorganChase is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the founding of the bank it ate to become one of the biggest players in Chicago’s financial sector.  And it’s doing so by celebrating not only the late First National Bank of Chicago, but also the former First National Bank buildings. An exhibit is on display in the lobby of Chase Tower (10 South Dearborn Street) which chronicles, among other things, the three...

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Will Block37’s New Blades Keep People From Skating By?
Aug06

Will Block37’s New Blades Keep People From Skating By?

Months after getting an exemption to a city ordinance prohibiting large signs on its facade, Block37 (1 West Randolph Street) is finally installing metal fins on its exterior that will soon bear the names of the stores within. The downtown mall’s position on the edge between the city’s Theater District and its historic State Street district left it in an unusual situation – it was not allowed to have vertical signs of any...

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Slice of Life: A Landmark Neutered
May21

Slice of Life: A Landmark Neutered

It’s been more than a year since the iconic neon red YMCA sign was taken off of the Lawson House (30 West Chicago Avenue), but it’s still hard to get used to.  A Gold Coast spy recently sent in these photographs of the noble 1930’s skyscraper without its crown. The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago is moving its headquarters to 1030 West Van Buren in the West Loop. Regarding the Lawson House building, spokeswoman Jill...

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