bKL Up for Michigan Avenue’s Newest Skyscraper
Jul20

bKL Up for Michigan Avenue’s Newest Skyscraper

The latest skyscraper to light up what used to be a forgettable stretch of North Michigan Avenue appears to be making great progress. Construction of 300 North Michigan Avenue in July, 2021. (Courtesy of Loop Spy Mike.) Loop Spy Mike sent in these pictures of construction at 300 North Michigan Avenue.  The Sterling Bay and Magellan Development project designed by bKL is rising across the street from the historic and awesome Carbide...

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Lakeshore East and Lakefront Chicago Now Properly Linked
Jun27

Lakeshore East and Lakefront Chicago Now Properly Linked

With the warmer weather, and the shedding of masks, come thoughts of being outdoors. Preferably, someplace green. Soon, downtown Chicagoans will have a new slice of veldt upon which to throw blankets and catch rays: Cascade Park. June, 2021 rendering of Cascade Park. (Courtesy of Lendlease.) Named for the skyscraper that sprouts next to it, the privately owned public space is part of a project cultivating three residential skyscrapers...

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Loop Skyscraper Design Tweaked
Mar14

Loop Skyscraper Design Tweaked

You know the old saw about the artist who kept sneaking into the museum at night to keep working on his painting years after it had been on display to the public?  Architecture can be like that, too. March 2019 rendering of 300 North Michigan Avenue The people behind the new residential skyscraper at 300 North Michigan Avenue have received approval from the City of Chicago to tweak the design of the 47-story building, already...

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Pinstripes Prevail on Lakeshore East Skyscrapers
Mar10

Pinstripes Prevail on Lakeshore East Skyscrapers

We’re happy to admit when we’re wrong. Or as our seventh-grade teacher used to say, “You pulled a boner.” She must have really been something in the 1940’s. Earlier this week we stated that pinstripes are out of fashion, both in clothing and in Loop skyscrapers. Today, we get around to reading the Sunday New York Times, and in its smudgy pages are full-page ads for both Armani and Ralph Lauren pinstripe...

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27 Story West Town Apartment Tower On Tap Next to Taco Bar
Mar10

27 Story West Town Apartment Tower On Tap Next to Taco Bar

That sorta weird, sorta interesting old bank on North Morgan Street in West Town is going to become a thing of the past. Sterling Bay has selected that building, its surface parking lot, and its drive-through as the location of a new apartment tower. March, 2021 diagram of 160 North Morgan Street. bKL Architecture is the monogram on this one, bringing a 27-story design with a pool on the roof, which is awesome in a way the pools on...

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New Chicago Skyscrapers Look Good in Pinstripes
Mar08

New Chicago Skyscrapers Look Good in Pinstripes

There was a time when people got dressed up to go into The Loop.  But ever since it somehow became OK to wear sweatpants in The Walnut Room, the only place you’ll see a fedora is on a Metra train headed to the north suburbs. Cirrus and Cascade under construction in March, 2021. (Courtesy of Loop Spy C.) That’s why it’s so delightful to see Cirrus and Cascade, the newest skyscrapers going up at Lakeshore East,...

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Two New Loop Skyscrapers Top Off
Jan14

Two New Loop Skyscrapers Top Off

While the bulk of the architectural press in Chicago has been focused on the St. Regis Chicago tower, just a block away two other skyscrapers have been quietly growing in its shadow. Well, “quietly,” unless you live in Lakeshore East, which has been under constant development since we started publishing way back in 2003. But such are the perils of urban living. January, 2021 rendering of Cirrus (Courtesy of Lendlease)...

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O, No! Last Lakeshore East Skyscraper Downsized Again
Jan11

O, No! Last Lakeshore East Skyscraper Downsized Again

The plan for the last skyscraper in Lakeshore East in The Loop has been revised again. Building O will occupy the cleft between Aqua and 300 East Randolph. Eventually. We’ve been waiting for Building O for some time now. Even moreso after an Aqua leasing agent swore up and down that no building would ever be built in that space, blocking anyone’s views. Ever. Prominse. Pinky swear. Days later, the first plan for Building O...

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Bowing Down Before Saint Regis in The Loop
Jan03

Bowing Down Before Saint Regis in The Loop

Remember back at the beginning of the pandemic, when we were all going to use our quarantine time to learn a new language, read Somerset Maugham, and write The Great American Novel? Somehow none of that happened. Like a Big Gulp cup on the side of the Edens, all those aspirations somehow escaped our grasps. Just like the New Year’s resolutions we made 75 days earlier to be nicer to Larry in accounting, call our mothers more...

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Four Minutes of GEMS: Chicago’s Urban Vertical School
Nov09

Four Minutes of GEMS: Chicago’s Urban Vertical School

It’s been a few years since GEMS World Academy opened its Lower School in Lakeshore East.  The bKL-designed building won a bunch of awards, and did a great job of filling in a difficult space with something that looks like it belongs. What an awesome school facade looks like. Recently, bKL put out a promotional video showing off its work.  Even if you’re familiar with this project, it’s worth seeing it again...

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