Another Loop Skyscraper Expanding Upward, Getting Open-Air Observatory
Jan07

Another Loop Skyscraper Expanding Upward, Getting Open-Air Observatory

We’ve written a number of times about buildings in Chicago that were erected with vertical expansion in mind.  300 East Randolph is the most visible example, but there are others like 168 North Michigan and Union Station. Now another one of The Loop’s skyscrapers is getting a vertical expansion.  But you probably won’t notice it unless you work in, or adjacent to, the building in question: Beacon Capital...

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Checking In On 168 North Michigan
Nov13

Checking In On 168 North Michigan

Today we’re checking in on 168 North Michigan, because it looks like it will be a long time before anyone else checks in at the hotel that’s supposed to be going in this space. 168 has been the subject of many big plans, and a metric ton of pigeon droppings, ever since Greece’s Atlantic Bank left the building close to a decade ago.  It’s currently being converted into a 200+ room “independent lifestyle...

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Michigan Avenue High Rise About to Lose Its Head
Aug29

Michigan Avenue High Rise About to Lose Its Head

The on-again, off-again renovation of 168 North Michigan Avenue into a boutique hotel is about to kick into high gear. A permit has been issued to lop off the top of the 1916 building so that construction crews can add more floors. Right now the former Federal Life Insurance Company building is a dozen stories tall, but it was originally designed by Marshall and Fox to be 16. Crews working for Oxford Capital Group and Quadrum have...

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Planned Michigan Avenue Hotel Asks For More Height
Jul08

Planned Michigan Avenue Hotel Asks For More Height

A Michigan Avenue building that never lived up to its potential may finally do so — and then some.  168 North Michigan Avenue was built back in 1916 as the headquarters of the Federal Life Insurance Company.  It was designed by Marshall and Fox to be 16 stories tall, but only made it to 12.  Even so, when the building opened, it was considered a showcase of modern aesthetics and luxury appointments. In modern times, it was known as...

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Work to Resume at Stalled Michigan Avenue Hotel Conversion
May09

Work to Resume at Stalled Michigan Avenue Hotel Conversion

The transformation of the North Michigan Avenue corridor between the Chicago River and Millennium Park is about to get kicked up a notch.  Long-stalled work on the building at 168 North Michigan Avenue is expected to resume soon. A trio of dead permits have been reinstated allowing construction crews to fix the exterior terra cotta on the 12 (should be 16) story building.  Right now the building’s exterior is a pockmarked mess...

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Status Update: Nibbling Away at Chicago’s Loop Indigo
Feb24

Status Update: Nibbling Away at Chicago’s Loop Indigo

The former Atlantic Bank building at 168 North Michigan Avenue looks like it’s been gnawed on by angry terra cotta beavers. And unfortunately, that’s how it’s looked for over a year now. The Chicago Architecture Blog’s Daniel Schell recently assessed the progress of turning the former home to the Greek National Bank into Chicago’s next Hotel Indigo. What he found is a building with many nibbles taken out...

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Empty Loop Bank to Go From Blue to Indigo
Jan16

Empty Loop Bank to Go From Blue to Indigo

  Pity the poor Atlantic Bank Building (168 North Michigan Avenue).  Even when it was full of people, it wasn’t much to look at.  Years of indifference kept it from being anything more than anonymous filler along the Michigan Avenue, and its constant state of disrepair made pedestrians more than happy to ignore it. When it opened in the small years of last century, it was an outstanding achievement.  Designed by legendary...

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