Bulls, Blackhawks Digging Themselves Huge Hole Before Seasons Even Open
Sep24

Bulls, Blackhawks Digging Themselves Huge Hole Before Seasons Even Open

If someone offers you a cheap parking spot in the east lot of the United Center for the upcoming Chicago Bulls or Chicago Blackhawks seasons, don’t take the bait. It’s a trick. The Madhouse on Madison is getting a new neighbor. Actually, it’s getting the best kind of neighbor there is: the kind you build yourself. Back in January, the United Center announced plans to erect a privately funded 6-story,...

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West Town NIMBYs Get a New Target To Sink Their Teeth Into
Jul28

West Town NIMBYs Get a New Target To Sink Their Teeth Into

There’s something about a West Loop NIMBY.  They’re not like the ones in other parts of the city.  They lack the sophistication of a Gold Coast NIMBY, the experience of a Streeterville NIMBY, and the disorganization of a South Loop NIMBY.  But what they lack in those areas they make up for in ferociousness, hyperbole, drama, and batshit foaming-at-the-mouth devotion to their cause. Speaking favorably about a new building...

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Status Update: Hyatt Centric in The Loop
Mar02

Status Update: Hyatt Centric in The Loop

The transformation of the fairly anonymous office building at 100 West Monroe Street into Chicago’s first Hyatt Centric hotel is progressing nicely. The Chicago outpost, officially christened Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago, is one of a dozen cities that are part of Hyatt’s launch of the new lodging brand. Other launch cities include New York (natch), Paris, D.C., and three places in California. The Hyatt Centric brand is...

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Slice of Life: City of Electric Shoulders
Jun04

Slice of Life: City of Electric Shoulders

A Loop Spy sent in this photograph of what a lamppost sees as it stands guard over the intersection of State and Monroe Streets on a recent morning. This article is the result of photos sent in by people just like you.  E-mail your pics to editor@ChicagoArchitecture.info....

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It’s the End of the Line for 601 West Monroe
Feb28

It’s the End of the Line for 601 West Monroe

Pity poor 601 West Monroe — Tossed on the architectural scrapheap before it could even break ground. Last week we brought you the story of 601’s neighbor — 625 West Monroe, the potentially 75-story tower planned for the surface parking lot between Presidential Towers (555 West Madison Street) and Heritage Green Park (610 West Adams Street). How does one get 75-stories on a quarter of a block?  You don’t.  The...

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The West Loop’s Mothballed BP Tower May Still Rise Under a Different Name
Feb21

The West Loop’s Mothballed BP Tower May Still Rise Under a Different Name

Christmas came late to Chicago’s skyscraper enthusiasts when last week a plan was announced to erect a 75-story office tower at 601 West Monroe Street.  For the first time in a long time, their Christmas stockings would be stuffed with a truly interesting design, at a highly-visible downtown location, backed by a developer flush with cash from recent building sales. We saw the drawing in Crain’s Chicago Business, too, and...

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The Groundbreaking Inland Steel Building Becomes Fully Appreciated 50 Years Later
Feb14

The Groundbreaking Inland Steel Building Becomes Fully Appreciated 50 Years Later

It is sleek, sophisticated, and understated. It is also accessible, inviting, and delightful as it shimmers in the sun. The Inland Steel Building (officially 30 West Monroe Street) remains an epochal example of modern architecture. And while this iconic Chicago structure isn’t a skyline diva, it was bold and innovative when it arrived in the late 1950s. After the twenty-year cessation of new construction caused by the Depression...

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Slice of Life: Chicago Ferrari Festival
Sep09

Slice of Life: Chicago Ferrari Festival

If there’s one thing you can count on in Chicago, it’s that every weekend there’s at least one festival.  Sometimes a dozen or more. After church this past Sunday, I happened to stumble across the 15th annual Chicago Ferrari Festival.  Normally my only exposure to these cars is watching Top Gear on BBC2, or seeing I-state tourists licking the dealership windows on Rush Street. This is an opportunity to get sort-of...

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Slice of Life: Flag Silhouettes
Jun03

Slice of Life: Flag Silhouettes

An American and Chicago flag silhouetted against the stainless steel base of 30 West Monroe Street (the former Inland Steel...

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Chicago-Henge

If you’re like me, you take a passing interest in the movement of the moon, stars, and sun in the sky over Chicago.  If you remember your fifth grade Earth Science class, the vernal equinox happened on March 20th.  That’s was the day that the sun rose directly from the east. Hard core earth-worship types spent thousands of dollars flying to places like Stonehenge to witness the sunrise casting shadows in perfect alignment....

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