Slice of Life: The Air Up There
Feb12

Slice of Life: The Air Up There

It turns out that you don’t have to wait until warmer weather for helicopter lifts in Chicago.  Our Gold Coast Spy shot these pictures of a helicopter lift at the intersection of Michigan and Wacker over the weekend.  No matter how many of these we see, it’s just something you can’t help but marvel at. This article is the result of photos sent in by someone just like you. If you see something interesting in your...

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Status Update: 111 West Wacker Sets Itself Apart
Jan02

Status Update: 111 West Wacker Sets Itself Apart

As panels of skin continue to be applied to 111 West Wacker, we’re starting to see how the building will visually distinguish itself from its neighbors along the Chicago River. True to the early drawings from friends-of-the-blog Related Midwest, the building sports channels that wrap around the building’s corners.  It’s a nice touch in context. Since its neighbors at 77 West Wacker and the Leo Burnett Building (35...

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Your OHC Photos: 333 Wacker
Oct29

Your OHC Photos: 333 Wacker

  If you took the Open House Chicago tour of 333 Wacker Drive, you may have run across Man_ofSteel manning the desk as a volunteer for the Chicago Architecture Foundation.  While he was there, he took this great photo of the 333 lobby. 333 is a 36-story curved tower from 1983 designed by Kohn Pederson Fox Associates.  It is widely praised for making efficient use of an awkwardly-shaped plot of land, and making a strong statement...

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Your OHC Photos: Randolph Tower Part 2
Oct28

Your OHC Photos: Randolph Tower Part 2

Man_ofSteel sent in some more of his pictures from the 2013 Open House Chicago.  This one he took from the eaves and high places of the Randolph Tower (188 West Randolph Street).  It shows nearby neighbor 225 West Wacker, the unmistakably postmodern KPF building on the Chicago River. This little corner of The Loop is starting to come back to life, with new businesses opening, a new office building planned, and scuttlebutt of other...

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111 West Wacker Gets The Doughnut Treatment
Jul12

111 West Wacker Gets The Doughnut Treatment

Around here we like our skyscrapers the way we like our doughnuts — Fully glazed.  And thanks to a tip from Loop Spy Ryan, we see that the skyscraper formerly known as the Waterview Tower is finally getting its glazing. For months, a group of different glass panels have hung on a corner of 111 West Wacker as its new owner (friends-of-the-blog, Related Midwest) figured out what looked and worked best for the project it restarted....

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Chicago’s New “Gateway” Both a Massive Success and Much Ado About Nothing
Jun19

Chicago’s New “Gateway” Both a Massive Success and Much Ado About Nothing

  What does it take to get Mayor Rahm Emmanuel to show up at an event, dozens of press releases, articles in the city’s newspapers, and notices in pretty much every neighborhood publication on the internet?  A bunch of picnic tables. That’s pretty much what The Gateway is — an event heralded by the Chicago Loop Alliance, CDOT, and the Mayor’s Office as if it was some spectacular accomplishment in placemaking...

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Status Update: GEMS Academy at Lakeshore East Now Under Construction
Jun17

Status Update: GEMS Academy at Lakeshore East Now Under Construction

Lakeshore East’s controversial private school has broken ground. GEMS Academy is putting up two school buildings in the downtown enclave near the southwest corner of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan.  The first, now officially under construction, will be nine-stories, faces East South Water Street, and is for the K-4 students. The second building, behind the first on East Wacker Drive, will be 16 stories tall, and have...

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Status Update: 111 West Wacker
Jun07

Status Update: 111 West Wacker

The skyscraper formerly known as the Waterview Tower, and formerly known as abandoned, is once again reaching for the sky. Now christened 111 West Wacker, the hard work of transforming the top of a 25-story parking garage into a platform to support an apartment tower is complete.  Now the tower, itself, is rising above the Chicago River. You may remember that this was going to be a 92-story hotel and condominium tower, but...

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111 West Wacker Gets Its Crane On [updated]
Feb13

111 West Wacker Gets Its Crane On [updated]

We’ve been wondering lately when a crane will rise alongside 111 West Wacker to help finally complete that building. As hinted at by signs on the property reading “At Long Last,” 111 is long overdue. It rose to 26 stories years ago before being abandoned as a skeleton hunched along the Chicago River.  In the summer of 2012 Related Midwest bought the dead project and started breathing life into it again, as a smaller,...

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Skycrane in Action in Downtown Chicago [Video]
Feb04

Skycrane in Action in Downtown Chicago [Video]

This past weekend the streets around the Illinois Center were shut down for a helicopter lift.  People who live in downtown Chicago get pretty used to this sort of thing because it seems to happen every other weekend, or even more frequently in warm weather. When something bigger than an elevator needs to be delivered to a building, in comes a skycrane.  It picks up the item in question from a flatbed truck on a nearby street and...

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