Chicago Union Station Finally Gets Its Towers, Plus a Hotel and More
May25

Chicago Union Station Finally Gets Its Towers, Plus a Hotel and More

Riverside Investment and Development has been selected by Amtrak to redevelop its property in Chicago’s West Loop, including the historic Chicago Union Station. In the decade-and-a-half that this blog has been chronicling Chicago’s built environment, Amtrak has put forward a series of increasingly ambitious plans for maximizing its real estate assets in downtown Chicago, which include the station’s...

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Amtrak Honored For Union Station Renovations
Nov18

Amtrak Honored For Union Station Renovations

If you prowl the halls of Congress, you don’t hear a lot of good things said about Amtrak.  It’s a popular punching bag among beltway insiders who like to grips about money not spent in their districts.    But if you’re a regular Amtrak rider (3k miles this year for me), you’ve probably noticed that things are — slowly, but surely — getting better at America’s largest passenger railroad. One of those...

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Yet Another Huge West Loop Tower Proposed – Will This One Actually Be Built?
Sep09

Yet Another Huge West Loop Tower Proposed – Will This One Actually Be Built?

Real estate developers in Chicago are an unusually tight-lipped bunch.  So it was refreshing to read that Sterling Bay Managing Director Andy Gloor was overcome by the gift of gab during an event at the Standard Club sponsored by Crain’s Chicago Business. Mr. Gloor told the audience about his company’s plan for a 958-foot-tall office tower for the Union Station area.  If completed, it would become...

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Union Station Transit Center Coming Together
Jan25

Union Station Transit Center Coming Together

Work continues in the West Loop on the Union Station Transit Center that will connect Amtrak and Metra passengers to CTA buses, while alleviating the traffic tie-ups long a part of everyday life on South Canal Street and West Jack Boulevard. It took awhile for progress to be visible here, beyond the digging up of the former surface parking lot, and foundation work. But now, the future bus shelters look a lot like, well, future bus...

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Status Update: Union Station Transit Center
Aug18

Status Update: Union Station Transit Center

  The Union Station Transit Center (300 South Canal Street) is moving forward, trying to take some of the snarl out of the mess that is South Canal Street.  The Chicago Architecture Blog’s Daniel Schell rapidly transited the Loop on a Divvy bike to bring us these pictures of the construction progress. The completed project will serve as an intermodal connector linking commuters on Amtrak and Metra trains with CTA buses....

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Amtrak Commits $12 Million To Union Station Rehab Project
Jan29

Amtrak Commits $12 Million To Union Station Rehab Project

If you’ve spent much time at Chicago Union Station lately, you probably noticed a chilly reception. I don’t mean the Amtrak staff. It’s been downright cold inside the station itself. There’s good news, though: the station’s drafty waiting rooms could be much toastier this time next year. The 90-year-old Chicago Union Station will be getting a facelift later this year. Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced Amtrak would pay $12 million...

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Great Chicago Walks: Revisiting Classic Rail Stations Past And Present
Aug03

Great Chicago Walks: Revisiting Classic Rail Stations Past And Present

About 50 years ago, I rode on a train for the first time. It was a St. Louis-to-New York City trip. I was a 12-year-old kid. I don’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday and I can’t seem to recall where I left my sunglasses but I do remember small details about that trip. The clackety-clack of the wheels, the whoo-whoo of the whistle. Seeing a man in a suit eating a hot dog with sauerkraut—for breakfast. I still enjoy traveling on...

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Point’s Public Park Positively Progressing
Apr08

Point’s Public Park Positively Progressing

The public park portion of the River Point development (444 West Lake Street) is really coming together. Walking by the other day, it’s easy to imagine how it will integrate into the rest of the city, with the elevators, ramps and staircases already mostly built.  One of our spies was over there recently and sent in these great pictures that not only show the park’s progress, but also the interior of the completed rail...

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Status Update: Tunnel Vision in the West Loop
Nov19

Status Update: Tunnel Vision in the West Loop

The train tunnel that is an integral part of the River Point development (444 West Lake Street) is chugging toward completion. We got to see the inside of the tunnel a few days ago, and the thing that struck us most was how clean and well lit it is.  But with hundreds of massive diesel engines lumbering through each day, don’t expect it to stay that way. Our Fulton River Spy sent in this picture yesterday, showing progress on...

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Status Update: River Point’s Rail Tunnel
Oct25

Status Update: River Point’s Rail Tunnel

Fulton Rive r Spy Alex sent over this great picture of the construction of River Point (444 East Lake Street).  You can really see how wide the Amtrak tunnel beneath the future River Point Park is.  You may remember that Amtrak required the tunnel be a little extra wide so there will be room for a future high speed rail line into Union Station. The entirety of that deck will be park space.  Then on the left you can see an area...

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