DIRTT Environmental Solutions Boasts Airy, Open Work Environment At Rivers Edge
Nov19

DIRTT Environmental Solutions Boasts Airy, Open Work Environment At Rivers Edge

A number of times when I’ve interviewed for jobs over the years, there’s been a temptation to ask whether the office has windows. I find windowless office spaces grim and depressing. Studies have shown that workers operate more efficiently when they’re exposed to daylight. That’s why when I walked into the DIRTT Environmental Solutions’ Green Learning Center at 325 North Wells Street, I thought, “Man, I could work here.” I suppose...

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Third New Building Announced for Two Blocks of River North
May27

Third New Building Announced for Two Blocks of River North

The River North side of LaSalle Street is where it’s at these days. Less than a week after a public meeting was held for two new residential towers proposed for 720 North LaSalle Street and 167 East Erie, another residential building is on offer. Word about the 11-story building being developed by Akara Partners became public in an e-mail from 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly’s office. 707 North Wells will have 51 residences over two...

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200 West Randolph is Dead, Long Live 151 North Franklin
Nov20

200 West Randolph is Dead, Long Live 151 North Franklin

200 West Randolph, we hardly knew ye. The 23-story office building that just a few short weeks ago was expected to rise at the corner of West Randolph Street and North Wells Street is now a thing of the past.  Relegated to the very very long shelf of never-built Chicago architectural models.  Crain’s Chicago Business called it yesterday when it reported that the parking garage currently at that location will remain a parking...

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Status Update: The Wells Street Bridge – Stay Away From Those Cans
Jul17

Status Update: The Wells Street Bridge – Stay Away From Those Cans

The Wells Street Bridge is the Navin R. Johnson of the Chicago River bridges — Shiny, new, and much paler than its brothers. Unlike Navin, however, Wells isn’t doomed to stay that color. The new Wells Street Bridge, all million pounds of it, is now in place and being re-woven into the fabric of Chicago’s transportation system. CTA Brown and Purple Line trains are moving freely over its upper deck, and the outrigger...

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200 West Randolph is Content to be a Darned Good Office Building
May06

200 West Randolph is Content to be a Darned Good Office Building

The pulses of skyscraper nerds across the Midwest quickened a couple of weeks ago when we published news that the Chicago Loop would get its first new office building in seven years. Then they got past the headline and saw that 200 West Randolph, the project proposed by Beitler Real Estate Services and Next Realty isn’t a super tower, but a regular office building. But it’s a darned good office building. J. Paul Beitler...

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A Historic Look at the Changing Leaves on the Wells Street Bridge
Apr26

A Historic Look at the Changing Leaves on the Wells Street Bridge

The year-long project of replacing the Wells Street Bridge over the main branch of the Chicago River reaches another critical phase this weekend. The north leaf of the the double-decker bascule bridge will be replaced with a brand new 2,100-ton leaf, constructed off-site and floated into place a couple of weeks ago. The removal of the northern half of the span means that CTA trains won’t be able to cross it from 10pm tonight...

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Details of the British School’s South Loop Expansion
Jan26

Details of the British School’s South Loop Expansion

Plans for a new campus of the British School of Chicago were shown to the public this weekend, and may have gone a long way towards assuaging neighborhood fears. The thoroughly greenwashed building was well received by a group of South Loop residents who saw the drawings and a presentation by architect Joseph Antunovich of Antunovich Associates at the District One police station. It will be built in the “Phase Three”...

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Transit Pawn

If you ride CTA trains for any length of time, chances are you have a favorite stop. The Addison Red LIne station (940 West Addison Street) is always a big winner in any El popularity contest, as is Sox/35th (142 West 35th Street).  History buffs tend to gravitate toward the Quincy stop on the Loop. The station had its most recent renovation in 1988, but when that was done, care was taken to preserve the historic character of the A.M....

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Is This a Piece of Chicago’s Railroading History?

Next to a surface parking lot along Wells Street south of Polk is something unusual.  This CrappyCameraPhonetm shot doesn’t do it justice.  It’s a vertical steel I-beam sticking out of the ground.  To my eyes, it looks like it used to be part of a railroad structure.  Maybe an elevated rail line, but more likely some kind of signaling apparatus.  The amount of rust on it clearly shows that it’s old, but you can still...

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Status Update: 201 North Wells

The garage portion of 201 North Wells is done as the shiny new skyscraper begins climbing above its neighboring building.  This is easily one of the noisiest corners in the city, and hopefully the new building will have better insulation and glazing than the Century Tower (182 West Lake Street) across the street. The people who used to run the Century Tower back when it had the awkward name “Skyline Century of...

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