Construction Workers Busy as Beavers at Cabrini Green
Sep17

Construction Workers Busy as Beavers at Cabrini Green

An Oregon real estate developer is beavering along with its first project in Chicago. 625 West Division in Goose Island will be a 240-unit apartment building when it’s completed in May of next year.  Gerding Edlen Development is hoping to land LEED Gold status for the 18-story building designed by GREC Architects. Chicago Architecture Blog photographer Daniel Schell captured these scenes of construction work well underway on the...

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Cabrini Getting Less Green: Urban Farm Chopped for Residential Building
Jul07

Cabrini Getting Less Green: Urban Farm Chopped for Residential Building

One of Chicago’s summer blessings are the tiny little urban farms that spring up year after year on disused plots of land across the city. I’m a big fan of urban gardening. When I lived in Cincinnati, I grew corn in long plastic troughs on my balcony, and pumpkins that I was never able to harvest because the vines carried the fruit far into a neighboring tree. When I lived in Houston, my apartment balcony was filled with fruiting lime...

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Is Chicago About To Lose Its Title of The Drawbridge Capital Of The World?
May19

Is Chicago About To Lose Its Title of The Drawbridge Capital Of The World?

Chicago has many drawbridges; the most of any city in North America. And in classic Second City form, is surpassed only by Amsterdam as the city with the most drawbridges in the world. Chicago has the greatest variety of drawbridge designs of any city on earth. Chicago’s historic bridges embody significant engineering and cultural heritage. It is the world’s greatest working drawbridge museum. Yet, the last drawbridge to be...

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Will Progressive Architecture Mark the Rebirth of Polonia Triangle?
Oct03

Will Progressive Architecture Mark the Rebirth of Polonia Triangle?

Within a perpetually changing urban landscape, there come new buildings with a fresh architecture that vividly captures their moment in time and set a new standard for design. The recently completed tower at 1611 West Division is one of these buildings. Chicago-based Wheeler Kearns Architects led the design of the 11 story tower.  It imagined the façade as a mass wrapped by fabric with vertical reflective panels and indented glass...

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Status Update: Polonia Triangle’s Tower of Pizza Hut
Jun17

Status Update: Polonia Triangle’s Tower of Pizza Hut

The 12-story residential building rising at 1611 West Division is starting to look something like it will in its final form. Most of the panels making up the building’s facade are now in place, and it’s risen to its final height of 95 feet, 11 inches.  The seemingly random pattern of its skin would be problematic in many places, but seems to reflect well the cacophonous nature of this busy intersection. Known colloquially...

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Atrium Village Development to Reach for the Sky
Aug13

Atrium Village Development to Reach for the Sky

Our friends over at FitzGerald Associates sent in a note earlier this week that the Atrium Village redevelopment they’re working on has received zoning approval from the City of Chicago. Not too long ago someone recommended Atrium Village to me as a hidden residential gem in downtown Chicago — close to the heart of the city, but isolated enough to be anonymous if you like. Right now it consists of a single mid-rise...

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Start Spreadin’ the News on Michigan Avenue

Last week we noted the disappearance of two of the city’s higher-profile newsstands.  The kiosk on the corner of Chicago and Michigan Avenues and the one at the corner of State and Division Streets in front of the Washington Mutual at 1200 North State Parkway both disappeared last week to be replaced with fresh pads of gleaming concrete. A note tacked to a light pole on Chicago Avenue noted that the kiosk would return, and...

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Homeowners Fall Off A Cliff

Last week while sitting in an airport lounge on the other side of the world, CNN Asia ran a Breaking News banner reading, “Economy ‘Falls Off A Cliff.'”  Some homeowners in the Gold Coast might feel the same way. A couple of Division Street tear-down two-flats went up at the wrong time — just when the economy went all pear-shaped.  They were completed in the Fall of 2008, but nobody has moved in yet....

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