A Half-Dozen Things You (Probably) Don’t Know About Roosevelt University’s Vertical Campus
Aug23

A Half-Dozen Things You (Probably) Don’t Know About Roosevelt University’s Vertical Campus

I don’t recall much about the view from the window of my dorm room in college. It was the fourth floor of the blocky, plain vanilla Hudson Hall at the University of Missouri-Columbia. What I can definitely say is there wasn’t much comparison to what I saw last week during a tour of Roosevelt University’s “vertical campus” at 425 South Wabash Avenue. It was a stunning view of Lake Michigan to the east from somewhere north of 20 stories...

Read More
Former Gym Gets Knocked Out, But What’s Next For This Primo Property? [u]
Aug22

Former Gym Gets Knocked Out, But What’s Next For This Primo Property? [u]

Two weeks after good readers like you started sending in pictures of demolition equipment massing near the bowels of the Magnificent Mile, and two days after we reported that they were swarming to attack the former Lakeshore Athletic Club at 441 North Wabash Avenue, a pair of powerful pneumatic pincers on poles are prying apart the property. It was Loop Spy Ryan who first sent us pictures of the demolition equipment, followed by...

Read More
Mag Mile’s Lakeshore Athletic Club About to Come Down [u]
Aug19

Mag Mile’s Lakeshore Athletic Club About to Come Down [u]

For the last 10 days or so, people have been hitting the Tip Line asking what the heck is going on over at the intersection of Rush and Hubbard, behind the Wrigley Building. Recently a metric buttload* of heavy demolition equipment showed up in the parking lot bounded by East Illinois Street, North Rush Street, East Hubbard Street, and North Wabash Avenue.  Digging through city paperwork turned up nothing, even though people like Loop...

Read More
Critics of Donald’s Trump Stamp Ignore Other Riverfront Affronts. Here’s a List
Jun16

Critics of Donald’s Trump Stamp Ignore Other Riverfront Affronts. Here’s a List

For the last week or so architecture nerds, bloggers, journalists, tourists, and people who just love Chicago have had one word on their lips: “TRUM.” Today it’s spelled “TRUMP,” but for a long while, the “P” was missing on the sign on the Trump International Hotel and Tower (401 North Wabash Avenue) that’s brought Donald Trump more free publicity for his Chicago residential tower than...

Read More
Chicago’s Newest Architectural Attraction: A Five-Letter Sign!
Jun14

Chicago’s Newest Architectural Attraction: A Five-Letter Sign!

The world is watching. Of course, I don’t mean soccer from Brazil. I’m talking about Trump Tower Chicago. I wonder, has a simple sign attached to the side of a building ever received so much attention? Only it’s not exactly a simple sign. It’s 2,891 square feet large. And now its become personal. Rahm is unhappy. He called it “tasteless.” Others say it’s ruined the skyline, it’s a blight, it’s Donald Trump throwing his weight, and...

Read More
Sleek CTA Train Station Coming to the Loop
Apr08

Sleek CTA Train Station Coming to the Loop

Construction is expected to start in the next few months on Chicago’s newest L station: Washington and Wabash. The start of work was delayed a year while work was completed on an environmental impact statement. That statement was presented to the public at the end of February, and can also be seen here.  The public comment period on the project closed at the end of last week. The Chicago Transit Authority explains that, “the...

Read More
Status Update: Virgin Loses Her Red Top, Gets Ready To Show Chicago Her Stuff
Mar19

Status Update: Virgin Loses Her Red Top, Gets Ready To Show Chicago Her Stuff

The world’s first Virgin Hotel is very privately getting ready for its debut. The unique red construction netting that once shrouded its upper reaches of the former Dearborn Bank Building at 203 North Wabash Avenue is long gone, and it doesn’t look like there’s too much more facade work to do. Most of the windows used to have a red masking tape grid on them. But now only a few do, which could mean that those portions...

Read More
Chicago’s War on Pillow Mints Has a New Target
Dec20

Chicago’s War on Pillow Mints Has a New Target

If you work in the hotel industry, you can be forgiven for thinking that 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly hates pillow mints and impossibly small bars of soap.  For the second time in a week, he’s put pen to paper in an attempt to kill or curtail a new hotel project in Chicago. The latest victim is the curious proposal at 403 North Wabash Avenue.  You may remember it as the weird idea to plop an 18-story Hyatt House on top of...

Read More
A Loop Hotel That’s More Than Just a Place to Hang Your Hat
Dec02

A Loop Hotel That’s More Than Just a Place to Hang Your Hat

Hotel Monaco Chicago (225 North Wabash Avenue), part of the Kimpton chain, is an award-winning boutique hotel with a phenomenal location and accompanying views.  The interior is colorfully pretty and cozily chic.  My recent visit and tour with the concierge made me want to return for an extended stay. While some Chicago hotels revel in their historic design and traditions, the Hotel Monaco—occupying a century-old building—feels...

Read More
It’s Been An Eventful 177 Years For The Oldest* House In Chicago
Sep09

It’s Been An Eventful 177 Years For The Oldest* House In Chicago

From its earliest frontier days Chicago has been a beacon to those looking for opportunity. Merchant Henry B. Clarke was one of the early pioneers seeking his fortune in the town on the shores of Lake Michigan. And the history of Henry Clarke’s house (now at 1855 South Indiana Avenue) is intertwined with that of the burgeoning city. Clarke and his wife Caroline, along with three children and a servant, moved to Chicago from upstate...

Read More