Two Minutes of Testa’s Turbine
May20

Two Minutes of Testa’s Turbine

  When you think of the Back of the Yards neighborhood, fascinating views may not be the first thing on your mind. But YouTuber Roman Alfredo brought his quadcopter over to the Testa Produce warehouse at 4555 South Racine Avenue and took a close-up tour of the company’s iconic power turbine. Location: 4555 South Racine Avenue, Back of the...

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Testa Produce Gives New Meaning To “Green” With Innovative Environmental Design
Oct27

Testa Produce Gives New Meaning To “Green” With Innovative Environmental Design

For the past week, I’ve been reusing the same Styrofoam cup. I think twice before printing out anything. And I’ve been a bit more diligent about recycling. I credit my newfound commitment to the environment to a recent tour of Testa Produce (4555 South Racine Avenue). Take a stroll through the Back of the Yards wholesale food distributor, and you’ll rethink your carbon footprint, too. Testa was one of the 150 tour sites offered by the...

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Cops to Tots: Chicago Children’s Theater Details Plans to Move Into Abandoned Police Station
Aug27

Cops to Tots: Chicago Children’s Theater Details Plans to Move Into Abandoned Police Station

I witnessed a rare community meeting last evening, where residents overwhelmingly supported a development and rezoning. Which is not to say it was unanimous. But this is the West Loop, where any developer is viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism and suspicion. You’d have to be REALLY skeptical to cast any doubt on this project, though. It wasn’t a developer with visions of a 30-story residential tower. It was the Chicago Children’s...

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Status Update: Madison Maisons Moving Along
Apr07

Status Update: Madison Maisons Moving Along

It’s been about ten months since the ceremonial groundbreaking was held for Madison & Racine, the six-story residential building going up—believe it or not—at the corner of Madison and Racine. West Town Spy Adam sent in these pictures taken recently, showing how far the FitzGerald Associates-designed building has come along.  From the photos, it certainly does appear to have quite a presence in the growing neighborhood, and...

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DePaul’s New Theater Wins Gold
Feb13

DePaul’s New Theater Wins Gold

The International Olympic Committee isn’t the only panel handing out gold these days.  The U.S. Green Building Council just certified DePaul University’s new theater building LEED Gold. We took you on an extensive tour of the Pelli Clark Pelli-designed building when it opened in September of 2013. You can read DePaul’s press release below the photo gallery.   Image © Jeff Goldberg, Esto. Courtesy of DePaul...

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Cranes’ Up At Madison At Racine
Sep17

Cranes’ Up At Madison At Racine

Things are really accelerating at Madison At Racine (1212 West Madison Street), the West Town residential project by Ascend Real Estate Group and Team4 Development. West Town Spy Adam shot us these pictures taken recently that show the foundation is done, and cranes being assembled. When the project is done next fall, the nine-story, 105-foot-tall building will have 216 apartments over ground floor retail. This article is the result...

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DePaul University’s New Theater School Takes A Bow
Sep15

DePaul University’s New Theater School Takes A Bow

The new DePaul University Theatre School Building (2350 North Racine Avenue), designed by Pelli Clark Pelli, celebrated its grand opening on Friday and I was privileged to be there for a private tour. The tour was led by the dean of the Theatre School, John Culbert, as well as members of the theater design firm that worked with Pelli, Schuler Shook. Toward the end of our tour, three members of the architectural team joined us. I...

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Status Update: Madison at Racine Construction Progress
Aug05

Status Update: Madison at Racine Construction Progress

Construction activity at Madison and Racine has really picked up this month, with West Town Spy Adam sending in some fresh pictures of the activity on the FitzGerald Associates-designed residential building taken just this morning (August 5, 2013). When I went up to the roof this morning around 8am, there was some of the most activity – machines and men – that there has been in the last 3 weeks. By 9am, the cycles of...

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Madison at Racine Breaks Ground Today on the Near West Side
May23

Madison at Racine Breaks Ground Today on the Near West Side

New buildings continue to sprout up in Chicago’s Near West Side. Today there will be a groundbreaking ceremony for a new residential mid-rise called The Madison at Racine (1212 West Madison). The apartment building will be a nine-story residential building, with a very nice glass drum in the southeast corner where the main lobby will be. It was designed up the street at FitzGerald Associates, and is being developed by two...

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History For Sale – One Plank, Railing, and Newel Post at a Time
Feb08

History For Sale – One Plank, Railing, and Newel Post at a Time

Let’s say you’re in the market for a circa 1880 door for renovation project. Oh, you say it needs to be a pocket door? And preferably in green? No problem. Jan has it. I’m referring to Jan Seymour, the owner of Jan’s Antiques in West Town. The 25,000-square-foot facility is a Disneyland for designers and builders looking for vintage elements. Jan’s has been operating at her 225 North Racine facility since...

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