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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Status Update: Up All Night with River Point
Aug21

Status Update: Up All Night with River Point

Work on the new public park and skyscraper that will be known as River Point (444 West Lake Street) is progressing very swiftly. Last week we noticed concrete walls being poured along the Lake Street side of the project, and word on site is that by working beyond the city’s usually allowed (but permitted this time) hours, they finished drilling holes for the caissons for the project.  This week, crews are building a “crash...

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River Point Shows Growth Potential in Both Height and Tunnel Capacity
Jul15

River Point Shows Growth Potential in Both Height and Tunnel Capacity

  Work is moving along very quickly to turn a weed-choked embankment, a gravel parking lot, and a bouquet of train tracks into a 1½-acre riverside park and a sexy, 650-foot-tall, curvy office tower named River Point. Houston-based Hines, and Montréal-based Ivanhoé-Cambridge still have a long way to go to meet their goal of opening the tower in the beginning of 2016, so construction crews are very busy. The first big project is...

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Union Station Master Plan Finished
Jun01

Union Station Master Plan Finished

The Union Station Master Plan has been completed, and it doesn’t look all that much different from the proposals put forth by Amtrak, Metra, and the Chicago Department of Transportation at the beginning of the process last year. First, a little background – Union Station is a mess.  Short-sightedness on the part of people in the 1960′s who thought that passenger rail service in America was dying led to infrastructure...

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More on River Point [Update 2]
May17

More on River Point [Update 2]

Just a few hours after we published our article about River Point (444 West Lake Street), the new office tower expected to break ground soon at the confluence of the Chicago River and its north branch, Hines sent along a press release about the project. Here are the juicy bits: Construction start: Before the end of the year. Construction finish: 2016 Architect: Pickard Chilton Size: 850,000 square feet Environmental: It was...

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Union Station Hosts National Train Day 2012
May12

Union Station Hosts National Train Day 2012

One of Chicago’s most beautiful, most historic, and busiest buildings hosted a major event earlier today. National Train Day is an annual open house event held at Amtrak’s big stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia.  It gives train lovers a chance to walk around trains they might never have the opportunity to board, and exposes the wonder of train travel to people who might not have considered it...

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Briefly: Rail Rage, Madison’s Century
Feb17

Briefly: Rail Rage, Madison’s Century

Amtrak has finally decided to invoke its legal rights and go after Canadian National for delaying its trains in and out of Chicago.  According to WGN-TV, between Chicago Union Station and Joliet, freight trains delay passenger trains 99% of the time.  By law, Amtrak trains are supposed to get preferential treatment on freight tracks.  Once past Joliet, where the rails are owned by Union Pacific, there isn’t nearly as big a...

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (2011 edition, part 16)
Dec22

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (2011 edition, part 16)

The great hall of Union Station (210 South Canal Street) is all decked out for Christmas.  Whether it’s little ones under a pine tree, or big ones delivering loved ones to a new city, there’s something about trains and Christmas that just go together. Did you enjoy this article? Click to give the author a few...

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