Chicago Spire Replacement Not Dead Yet
Oct23

Chicago Spire Replacement Not Dead Yet

Yesterday we told you that 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly decided that Related Midwest’s two-tower plan for the space that failed to become the Chicago Spire is a non-starter. The alderman had a fair number of rather significant problems with the plan for 400 North Lake Shore Drive, including traffic, security, the big honking podium, and the mere existence of a hotel.  Fortunately, the height of the towers in the project...

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Related Midwest Drives an 1,100-Foot-Tall Nail Into The Chicago Spire’s Coffin
May15

Related Midwest Drives an 1,100-Foot-Tall Nail Into The Chicago Spire’s Coffin

If you’ve spent the last eight years waiting for someone to drive the final nail into The Chicago Spire’s coffin, Related Midwest is your carpenter. Tonight the River North real estate developer pulled the cloak off of a duo of towers it plans to erect at the site of Chicago’s most magnificent hole — 400 Lake Shore Drive. 400 is an SOM design crafted by David Childs, known mostly for his work on such New York...

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7 Days Until Spirepalooza: Chicago’s Biggest Building Event
May08

7 Days Until Spirepalooza: Chicago’s Biggest Building Event

Glasses are fogged, butts are perched on seat edges, and pearls are clutched in anticipation of Tuesday, May 15th. The that’s the day Chicago finds out what will become of the city’s infamous Chicago Spire site. Streeterville neighborhood group S.O.A.R. will host a meeting one week from today for real estate developer Related Midwest to unveil its plans for the space that was supposed to hold a 2,000-foot-tall skyscraper by now. What...

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Digging Dirt in the Future DuSable Park
Nov28

Digging Dirt in the Future DuSable Park

Thirty years after Chicago Mayor Harold Washington named the spit of land along the Chicago River east of Lake Shore Drive DuSable Park, dirt is once again moving to make the vision a reality. There have been dozens and dozens of ideas floated for the grassy, radioactive nub officially designated Jean Baptiste Pointe.  But the only real action there in the last 15 years was when it was used for construction staging for the failed...

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Spire Watchers On Alert, But Don’t Get Your Hopes Up
Nov23

Spire Watchers On Alert, But Don’t Get Your Hopes Up

Streeterville residents anxiously awaiting news about what will become of the curious lot at 400 North Lake Shore Drive have been on alert recently.  That’s because some very sinister-looking tanks have recently appeared on the site that was, not so long ago, going to be the home of North America’s tallest building. Today that site is the home of Chicago’s largest light socket.  Or deepest concrete swimming hole.  Or...

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Former Chicago Spire Site Gets an Architect
Sep07

Former Chicago Spire Site Gets an Architect

We don’t do a lot of news about architects moving from one firm to another.  If we did, we wouldn’t have time for anything else. But some moves are bigger than the Iron Mountain box used to transport a favorite T-square, bobblehead hula girl, and “Architects do it with models” coffee mug from one office to the next.  They signal change coming. Such is the case with Michael Pfeffer.  Crain’s Chicago...

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Throwback Thursday: Before We Ever Heard the Word “Spire”
Jul02

Throwback Thursday: Before We Ever Heard the Word “Spire”

When you’ve been publishing a blog as long as we have, you end up with one heck of a photograph archive. Fortunately, the interwebs gave us “Throwback Thursday,” an excuse to re-purpose our snapshots from ten years ago: 2005. Back then this vacant lot at 400 North Lakeshore Drive in Streeterville was just a vacant lot.  It wasn’t famous yet. There were no Calatravian visions of smoke rising from the prairie.  No sales office...

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The Death of a Spire: It’s OK to Grieve.  Again.
Nov05

The Death of a Spire: It’s OK to Grieve. Again.

On you way home tonight, be sure to stop by the local Slurp ‘n’ Burp to pick up the breakfast spread of your choice.  Whether it’s butter, honey, Nutella, or that knockoff Nutella by Hershey’s, you’re going to need lots of it because the Chicago Spire is officially toast. Born in 2007 as the Fordham Spire, the controversial 400 North Lake Shore Drive baby was expected to grow up strong and tall to 2,000...

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Chicago Neverbuilt: Episode 1 — All My Spires
Sep04

Chicago Neverbuilt: Episode 1 — All My Spires

Part of being creative is knowing that not every idea is a slam dunk.  The world’s most famous painters—Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and others— painted over their mistakes.  Similarly, architecture offices around Chicagoland are populated with hundreds, maybe even thousands, of models of buildings that just never got off the ground.  Putting together a skyscraper is a complicated thing, and unless the banks, the developers, the...

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Status Update: The Chicago Spire
Apr11

Status Update: The Chicago Spire

Nope.  Nothing happening...

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