Grant Park About To Get Another Border Skyscraper
Apr04

Grant Park About To Get Another Border Skyscraper

The already impressive collection of architecture that lines Chicago’s Grant Park is about to get another trophy in the case. The City of Chicago has issued its first building permits for the tower expansion of the aging Essex Inn. FOUNDATION AND CONCRETE STRUCTURE UP TO THE UNDERSIDE OF THE 6TH FLOOR FOR A PROPOSED 56 STORY 479 DWELLING UNIT RESIDENTIAL BUILDING; 84 PARKING SPACES; GROUND FLOOR RETAIL; ALL AS PER PLANS While...

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North Bridge’s Back Side Probed Again – Expansion Finally Coming?
Mar13

North Bridge’s Back Side Probed Again – Expansion Finally Coming?

It’s been a little over three years since we told you about the big plans for the Shops at North Bridge to get even bigger.  Now Near North Spy Andy has registered a trio of photos with our Tip Line for us to check out.  They show soil sampling crews busy sampling soil to see what lurks beneath the surface parking lot that now inhabits 53 East Illinois Street. This was formerly the location of a Lakeshore Athletic Club, but that...

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New 56-Story Michigan Avenue Tower Gets Money, Gets Busy
Jan03

New 56-Story Michigan Avenue Tower Gets Money, Gets Busy

This morning it was announced that the developers of Essex On The Park, the new 56-story apartment building in the South Loop landed a $170 million loan to begin construction of the luxury tower. Almost simultaneously, work crews showed up at 808 South Michigan Avenue to put up scaffolding and barriers so that demolition, and eventually construction, can begin. Essex on the Park was designed by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture and is...

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76-Story Skyscraper About to Rise in the South Loop
Dec08

76-Story Skyscraper About to Rise in the South Loop

If your travels don’t take you by Navy Pier to see the construction of One Bennett Park, and you don’t usually find yourself at the dead-end of East Wacker Drive to check on Vista Tower progress, maybe the corner of Michigan and Roosevelt is more convenient for your skyscraper construction viewing pleasure. That’s where, in a matter of days, work is expected to begin on Raphael Viñoly’s 76-story residential...

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Permit Issued for 76-Story South Loop Skyscraper
Oct17

Permit Issued for 76-Story South Loop Skyscraper

This time last year, there were three super-tall skyscrapers proposed for downtown Chicago.  We asked several prominent local architects what they thought the chances were of any of them being built. The answer was universally skeptical.  Most thought that just one would be built.  The rest of the people we spoke with said none had a chance of getting off the ground. Today we’re delighted to report that the second of those three...

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Tribune Tower Sold to L.A.’s CIM Group
Aug30

Tribune Tower Sold to L.A.’s CIM Group

For half a decade, locals and industry insiders have been watching the formerly mighty Tribune media empire crack, collapse, and dissolve away like the Antarctic ice shelf.  Today a massive glacier calved off the Tribune Tower in downtown Chicago, floating it over to CIM Group for $240 million in cash money. So, what becomes of the Tribune Tower?  Lots.  CIM isn’t one of those companies that buys a property if it doesn’t...

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More Chicago Buildings Lighting Up For Attention
Aug03

More Chicago Buildings Lighting Up For Attention

When we first started publishing the Chicago Architecture Blog almost 14 (!) years ago, Chicago was a dark city at night. Very few of the city’s buildings were illuminated showpieces, and those that were tended to be older. That era has passed, as more and more Chicago buildings, new and old, are using state-of-the-art illumination technology to give themselves a little sparkle and a bit of “here I am!” showmanship...

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Planned Michigan Avenue Hotel Asks For More Height
Jul08

Planned Michigan Avenue Hotel Asks For More Height

A Michigan Avenue building that never lived up to its potential may finally do so — and then some.  168 North Michigan Avenue was built back in 1916 as the headquarters of the Federal Life Insurance Company.  It was designed by Marshall and Fox to be 16 stories tall, but only made it to 12.  Even so, when the building opened, it was considered a showcase of modern aesthetics and luxury appointments. In modern times, it was known as...

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Rush Bringing Medical Facility to South Loop High Rise
Jul01

Rush Bringing Medical Facility to South Loop High Rise

In April of this year, plans were unveiled to replace the art moderne/brutalist National Letter Carriers Association building at 1411 South Michigan Avenue with a 15-story high rise.   At the event, hosted by third ward Alderman Pat Dowell, developer Russland Capital Group detailed a plan that would see 199 residences built above a medical facility.  We now know more about that medical facility. Rush University Medical Center has...

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Throwback Thursday: The Shiny New Apple on North Michigan Avenue
Jun02

Throwback Thursday: The Shiny New Apple on North Michigan Avenue

How well do you remember 2003?  It was the year that 13 people were killed and 57 hurt when a porch collapsed in Lincoln Park.  R.E.M. played the United Center.  And in one of the most Mayor Daley events in Mayor Daley history, Mayor Daley ordered a team of bulldozers to destroy Meigs Field airport in the middle of the night. It was also the year that Apple (then called Apple Computer) opened its Chicago flagship store at 679 North...

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