The Loop Loses a Crane, But Gains a Skyscraper
Apr04

The Loop Loses a Crane, But Gains a Skyscraper

Seeing a crane removed from the Chicago skyline is always a bittersweet affair. We love seeing those big red and yellow (but never green or blue) zig-zaggy arms swinging to and fro, adding to the electricity of simply being downtown. But the aerial calisthenics have to end eventually, and when they do a shiny new skyscraper appears in its place. That’s what’s happening in the picture above, sent in by Loop Spy Chris. It...

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The Way They’re Building the New CNA Center Makes You Want to Cover Your Eyes
Aug17

The Way They’re Building the New CNA Center Makes You Want to Cover Your Eyes

Every once in a while life will throw you a curve ball.  You’ll see something that disturbs your mental sense of order.  Something that is perfectly logical and appropriate, but still makes you uncomfortable on a subconscious level.  Like when you run into your elementary school teacher at the movie theater.  Or when you see an enormous ship carrying another enormous ship. That’s what’s happening over at 151 North...

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John Buck Company About to Put the “See” in Chicago’s New CNA Center
Jul25

John Buck Company About to Put the “See” in Chicago’s New CNA Center

Three years ago we were the first to tell you about a new building for 151 North Franklin. One year ago, we were the first tell you the parking lot at Randolph and Franklin closed. Ten months ago we brought you the first pictures of the demolition of the adjacent Walgreens. Seven months ago we were the first to tell you that the building would be called the CNA Center. Five months ago we were the first to show you work starting on the...

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John Buck Company Breaks Ground on 151 North Franklin
Apr07

John Buck Company Breaks Ground on 151 North Franklin

With caissons buried in the ground at 151 North Franklin Street, it was time for John Buck Company to break ground on 151 North Franklin in The Loop Thursday morning. As you may recall, Case Foundation took over the lot at Franklin and Randolph immediately after Buck received the foundation permit in late February. And now, barely a month later, caisson equipment is being removed from the site, even as dignitaries and media filed into...

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Big Red’s Sale Another Step In CNA’s Cross-Loop Move
Mar28

Big Red’s Sale Another Step In CNA’s Cross-Loop Move

We don’t do a lot of real estate news here, preferring to focus on the architecture and development side of things.  But the recent sale of the big red skyscraper at 333 South Wabash is a little bit of both things.  That’s because its sale is an integral part of the do-si-do that is making the construction of a new skyscraper at 151 North Franklin possible. The red building is CNA Center.  And so is 151 North Franklin....

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Permit in Hand, Buck Wastes No Time on New CNA Center
Mar02

Permit in Hand, Buck Wastes No Time on New CNA Center

Well, that was fast. It was just this past Friday afternoon that the city bestowed upon the John Buck Company and its contractors permission to build the new CNA Center at 151 North Franklin Street.  Then, bright screaming early Monday morning, the northeast corner of Franklin and Randolph Streets started filling up with heavy equipment. I’ve got laundry sitting in the dryer longer than that. A fleet of flatbeds started...

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Second of Three Northwest Loop Towers About to Climb
Feb29

Second of Three Northwest Loop Towers About to Climb

When we first started this publication almost a decade-and-a-half ago, there wasn’t much to the northwest section of the Loop.  Aside from the towers lining West and North Wacker Drives, and a few oddballs like 181 West Madison, there wasn’t much tall, new, and shiny going on. That changed in the last few years when two new residential skyscrapers popped up and a few of the office tower gaps on Wacker filled in.  Now the...

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A Fine Frenzy on Franklin
Feb02

A Fine Frenzy on Franklin

There are no construction permits for the future skyscraper at 151 North Franklin just yet, but much work is underway getting the site ready for groundbreaking. Loop Spy Mike sent in the photograph above showing workers scurrying all over the now vacant lot at the corner of North Franklin and West Randolph Streets where until recently a terrible Walgreens and an awesome Chinese restaurant stood. Most interesting is the southeast...

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Landmark “CNA Center” Name Moving Across the Loop [u]
Dec16

Landmark “CNA Center” Name Moving Across the Loop [u]

For almost a half a century, the name “CNA Center” (and its predecessors) has been synonymous with the incongruous red steel skyscraper at 333 South Wabash Avenue, just off Grant Park.  Now that name is going to belong to a new building. The John Buck Company‘s new 151 North Franklin project is now going to be known as CNA Center, as the insurance company has committed to leasing 275,000 square feet of the planned...

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Franklin Street Lot Leveled, Now on With the Show!
Dec02

Franklin Street Lot Leveled, Now on With the Show!

If you’re the sort of person who’s in the habit of getting your prescription refills and 40-ounce beers for the Metra ride home from the Walgreens at 240 West Randolph Street, well… stop doing that.  The store is no more. Loop Spy Mike sent us a photo from the rear of 155 North Wacker Drive showing that what once was a parking lot and a drug store and one of the city’s best dive Chinese restaurants is now the...

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