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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Dopes on a Rope: Urban Explorers Climb Two Chicago Construction Cranes
Jul25

Dopes on a Rope: Urban Explorers Climb Two Chicago Construction Cranes

There’s something about being young that makes you believe that you’re indestructible.  I can’t be all that critical of the feeling, because when I was a youth, I ate so many Doritos my corpse will never decompose. At least I had the sense not to climb to the top of a 900-foot-tall construction crane.  That’s just stupid. But that’s just what a youthful “urban explorer” codenamed Ugly Steffy...

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Building NEMA: A Day in the Life of a Chicago Skyscraper Construction Worker
May29

Building NEMA: A Day in the Life of a Chicago Skyscraper Construction Worker

If you’ve been following the construction of NEMA Chicago (formerly One Grant Park, formerly 113 East Roosevelt), or any other skyscraper under construction in Chicago, you’ve probably wondered what it’s like “up there.” Open House Chicago notwithstanding, few people get to go up to the top of the city’s skyscrapers.  Even fewer get to do it while the structures are still under construction. Joe...

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A Look at the Plans for the Tribune Tower Redevelopment
Apr23

A Look at the Plans for the Tribune Tower Redevelopment

In a matter of weeks, the Tribune Tower will become just another chapter in the  Chicago Tribune’s proud 171 year history, as parent company Tronc uproots Chicagoland’s paper of record from its home of nearly a century. With the Trib decamps for Prudential Plaza across the river, Los Angelino developer CIM Group can begin work turning the beloved landmark into 163 swishy condominiums for Chicagoans with thicker wallets...

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Gasp-Worthy Proposal Unveiled for Chicago’s Second-Tallest Skyscraper
Apr16

Gasp-Worthy Proposal Unveiled for Chicago’s Second-Tallest Skyscraper

As the kids say these days: “Oh. My. God.” That was the reaction — positive and negative — to the proposed new skyscraper unveiled tonight at a public meeting at the Sheraton Grand Chicago. Development duo CIM Group and Golub & Co. pulled the sheet off of a stunning new skyscraper proposal that, at 1,422 feet, would be the second-tallest building in Chicago.  It’s planned for the surface parking lot behind the...

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We’ll Soon See Michigan Avenue’s Huge New Skyscraper
Apr09

We’ll Soon See Michigan Avenue’s Huge New Skyscraper

Remember a few months ago when Alderman Reilly knocked over a pot of beans about the new skyscraper coming to Michigan Avenue?  Back then, all we knew was that the planned building could be as much as 1,388 feet tall, making it the third-tallest in Chicago.  And at the time, we put together a graphic illustrating what a skyscraper that tall might look like rising out of the Tribune Tower’s parking lot: We also predicted that the...

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Essex on the Park Eclipses Nearby Hilton Chicago 
Mar26

Essex on the Park Eclipses Nearby Hilton Chicago 

It’s only been a month since we last checked in on the construction of Essex on the Park (800 South Michigan Avenue), and the thing is sprouting like spring tulips in a Michigan Avenue median.  Eventually.  We promise they will. As for the Essex, since the end of February it’s put on a dozen floors as it climbs to an eventual 56-stories in height.  This time last month, it was the same height as the Hilton Chicago (720...

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With its Tower Underway, Construction at Essex on the Park Turns Inn-ward
Feb20

With its Tower Underway, Construction at Essex on the Park Turns Inn-ward

The Essex on the Park development across the street from Grant Park is about to enter the fix-the-hotel phase of the project. Ten months ago, Oxford Capital and Quadrum Global were given construction permits by the city to start work on the new 56-story residential tower that is rising next to the time-worn hotel.  As you can see in the photo below, taken by YoChicago!‘s Joe Zekas from One Grant Park, work on the skyscraper is...

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