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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New Downtown Chicago Apple Store Construction Gets Serious
May31

New Downtown Chicago Apple Store Construction Gets Serious

There are people who love Apple Stores.  There are people who love cranes.  Expect the two groups to squee in unison very soon, as a permit has been issued for a tower crane to help build the new Apple Store at Pioneer Court (401 North Michigan Avenue). Permit issued for new construction TOWER CRANE INSTALLATION AT PLAZA FOR PROPOSED 1-STORY RETAIL ADDITION. You’re right — it is a little unusual for a tower crane to be erected...

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Two Downtown Chicago Hotel Developments Up For Approval This Week
May16

Two Downtown Chicago Hotel Developments Up For Approval This Week

You can’t spell “hotel” without the word “hot,” and that describes downtown Chicago’s hospitality market.  From office building conversions to new construction, it seems like every developer with a dollar and a dream is eager to put a mint on your pillow. Two downtown hotel projects go before the Chicago Plan Commission this Thursday morning.  One highly anticipated.  The other… flying under...

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Work to Resume at Stalled Michigan Avenue Hotel Conversion
May09

Work to Resume at Stalled Michigan Avenue Hotel Conversion

The transformation of the North Michigan Avenue corridor between the Chicago River and Millennium Park is about to get kicked up a notch.  Long-stalled work on the building at 168 North Michigan Avenue is expected to resume soon. A trio of dead permits have been reinstated allowing construction crews to fix the exterior terra cotta on the 12 (should be 16) story building.  Right now the building’s exterior is a pockmarked mess...

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Second Presbyterian Church of Chicago To Be Repaired
Apr25

Second Presbyterian Church of Chicago To Be Repaired

The historic Second Presbyterian Church of Chicago in the city’s South Loop neighborhood received a renovation permit for much-needed repairs on April 20th. The church, at 1936 South Michigan Avenue, has been covered in varying degrees of scaffold after a tragic accident back in September of 2014 killed a passerby as she walked past. Now, permission is in place to repair the facade of the bell tower and restore the windows, as...

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Construction Begins on New Michigan Avenue Apple Store
Mar17

Construction Begins on New Michigan Avenue Apple Store

The biggest retail change to Chicago’s Magnificent Mile since the new flagship Burberry Store went up in 2013 is starting to take place at Pioneer Plaza. Demolition has begun in front of 401 North Michigan Avenue for the new “underground” Apple Store Pioneer Court.  Fences went up, and a JCB started yanking out paving blocks yesterday afternoon.  Loop Spy Marcus double-clicked our tip line when he saw the work...

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