John Hancock Center Latest Name to be Erased from Chicago’s Lexicon
Feb12

John Hancock Center Latest Name to be Erased from Chicago’s Lexicon

Chicago’s venerable John Hancock Center is the latest name to be thrown on the city’s rubbish pile of the past. It joins The Sears Tower, The Amoco Building, Marshall Field’s and other beloved brand names that have been eschewed in recent history.  Strangely, instead of this being a case of big business scrambling to wring every precious dollar from their properties in order to satiate faceless institutional...

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Massive New Michigan Ave Tower Uncovered and What It Might Look Like
Jan25

Massive New Michigan Ave Tower Uncovered and What It Might Look Like

We’ve known for a long time that CIM Group has big plans for the surface parking lot behind the Tribune Tower. But we didn’t know they were this big. The Los Angeles developer which bought the Trib building in 2016 with plans to convert the gothic skyscraper into residences so exclusive the internet hasn’t come up with a word for it yet, wants to put up Chicago’s third-tallest building, right at the foot of the...

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Change Brewing on North Michigan Avenue
Jan16

Change Brewing on North Michigan Avenue

Permits have been issued for the nearly $10 million transformation of the former Crate and Barrel flagship store on the Magnificent Mile into a new mega Starbucks. INTERIOR & EXTERIOR ALTERATIONS (GROUND THROUGH 5TH FLOOR) FOR SHELL & CORE ONLY TO INCLUDE NEW ROOF DECK OF AN EXISTING FIVE (5) STORY MERCANTILE BUILDING AS PER PLANS. The four-story building at 646 North Michigan Avenue opened in 1990, and it shaped like a (wait...

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Baffled by Winter, Left Coast Bloggers Jump Ugly on Chicago’s Apple Store
Jan02

Baffled by Winter, Left Coast Bloggers Jump Ugly on Chicago’s Apple Store

Since this publication began almost 15 years ago, we’ve always stated there is a big difference between blogging and journalism.  That became evident over this New Year’s Eve weekend, when a bunch of 20-somethings with smartphones who like to play journalist lit up the internet with cries that there was something wrong with the new Apple flagship store at Pioneer Court. Sadly, it started with local blogger Matt Maldre who...

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Checking In On 168 North Michigan
Nov13

Checking In On 168 North Michigan

Today we’re checking in on 168 North Michigan, because it looks like it will be a long time before anyone else checks in at the hotel that’s supposed to be going in this space. 168 has been the subject of many big plans, and a metric ton of pigeon droppings, ever since Greece’s Atlantic Bank left the building close to a decade ago.  It’s currently being converted into a 200+ room “independent lifestyle...

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Chicago’s Pioneer Court Apple Store Opens in 3… 2… 1…
Oct20

Chicago’s Pioneer Court Apple Store Opens in 3… 2… 1…

Apple’s new Michigan Avenue flagship store opens for business this morning.  The Cupertino, California computer and gadget company made a splash several years ago when it revealed that it would shutter its 2003 flagship at Michigan and Huron and move six blocks down the street to take over the underground cafeteria and utility space at 401 North Michigan Avenue. The most important thing the building did is create a workable...

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Why Fix It? City to Pave  Over its Gold Coast Problem
Oct09

Why Fix It? City to Pave  Over its Gold Coast Problem

If you’ve been hoping for the last decade that the City of Chicago might finally get around to repairing and re-opening the tunnels beneath the intersection of Michigan and Oak Street, forget it.  It’s not gonna happen. It’s been about ten years since the pedestrian conveniences were shuttered.  Each day hundreds of commuters used them to cross the intersection without having to stand on the corner waiting for a walk...

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Residential Tower May Be On Tap For Former Mandarin Oriental Space
Sep26

Residential Tower May Be On Tap For Former Mandarin Oriental Space

Eleven years after the Chicago architecture world was dazzled by SBC’s design for a Mandarin Oriental hotel tower just behind Michigan Plaza, there are signs once again that something might be happening there. It was 2006 that plans were revealed for a 74-story, 900-foot-tall building that would house 250 hotel rooms, 150 luxury condominiums, and 100 über-luxe palaces in the sky branded as The Mandarin Oriental Residences. When...

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Downtown Chicago Apple Flagship To Open October 20
Sep12

Downtown Chicago Apple Flagship To Open October 20

The opening of the new Steve Jobs theater at Apple Park in Cupertino, California wasn’t the only architecture news of note today. During Apple’s annual iPhone presentation, a portion of the show was given over to the technology company’s Senior Vice President of Retail, Angela Ahrendts. She let the world know that the new Apple Store at Pioneer Court on Michigan Avenue will open October 20th. “Our team has...

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Landmarks to Consider Johnson Publishing Building Residential Conversion
Sep06

Landmarks to Consider Johnson Publishing Building Residential Conversion

At its regular monthly meeting tomorrow, a committee of the Commission on Chicago Landmarks will consider a request to allow the conversion of the former Johnson Publishing Building (820 South Michigan Avenue) from offices to residential use. The 11-story brutalist building designed by John W. Moutoussamy was the headquarters of the Johnson empire for decades — a media conglomerate best known for decades for its Ebony and Jet...

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