State of the West Loop Development from the POV of the West Central Association President
Dec08

State of the West Loop Development from the POV of the West Central Association President

Over the past few years, I’ve witnessed a couple dozen community meetings in the West Loop where developers and architects offered up plans for new buildings and then held their collective breath while residents gave their feedback. Sometimes, that part of the meeting wasn’t pretty. The most common complaints: “We’ll lose our view.” “Traffic will get worse.” “The density is already too high.” “We’ll lose our neighborhood feel.” You...

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Renovating an Old Landmark

One of my favorite old Chicago buildings is going to be renovated. I’ve long admired the Old Republic Building (307 North Michigan Avenue).  Maybe because of its anonymity — it’s not as flashy as the Carbide and Carbon Building (230 North Michigan Avenue)across the street.  Maybe because it suits its corner so well.  Maybe because I’ve spent any number of hours standing in its shadow waiting for a 151 bus....

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Pix: Block37 LED Displays

Earlier this year we mentioned the new LED displays now adorning the atrium of Block37 (1 West Randolph Street), and posted a few pictures and a video.  Now we’ve been sent a press release from the company that engineered the displays, along with some much better pictures than we had: Block 37 and Daktronics Video Displays Unite for Powerful Visual Advertising Impact New LED Video Screens Position Block 37 as Chicago’s...

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Leveling the Field at Ogden School

Construction is well underway on the new Ogden Elementary School (24 West Walton Street) on State Street. We’ve talked about the demolition and construction of the new school before (hereand here).  The old school is long gone, and foundation work is underway on the new one.  This picture was taken not that long ago when there was still a little snow on the ground.  With Odgen gone, it’s easier to appreciate the the old...

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Status Update: Children’s Memorial Hospital

Yet another update on the new Children’s Memorial Hospital (225 East Chicago Avenue)going up in the Gold Coast.  Though there’s much glazing work to be done, the main parts of the facade are mostly in place.  For the last few weekends, there have been early-morning shipments of large pieces of truck-sized equipment whose labels, to a layman like myself, appear destined for the emergency room or...

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Status Update: The Ritz-Carlton Residences
Feb24

Status Update: The Ritz-Carlton Residences

It’s hard to see from ground level, but progress is being made on Michigan Avenue’s newest condo tower.  For months, caissons have been driven into the sandy Chicago shoreline soil and there now appears to be something of a basement and retaining wall on the north side of the property.  The Ritz-Carlton Residences (664 North Michigan Avenue) used to be the location of the Terra Museum of Art, a popcorn stand, a Starbucks,...

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Video and pics: Helicopter Lift at Water Tower Place

Several streets in the Gold Coast were shut down this morning so that new HVAC units could be lifted to the roof of Water Tower Place (845 North Michigan Avenue). The sky crane picked up the HVAC units one at a time from the ball field at nearby Lake Shore Park, ferried them down Chicago Avenue, and then up to the top of the skyscraper.  Getting them over that lip is quite a feat, as it is 1,059 feet high. The original lift was...

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Status Update: University of Chicago New Hospital Pavilion Project

A crane towers over Hyde Park as it assembles the University of Chicago’s New Hospital Pavilion Project. Hopefully that’s a temporary name.  The 10+1-story project designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects & Cannon Design should be done in 2012, and will add 1.2 million square feet of space to the medical...

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Status Update: The Heisen House

One of the few magnificent old mansions remaining on Lake Shore Drive is being renovated. The Carl Constantine Heisen House (1250 North Lake Shore Drive) looks like it’s been gutted and workers are busy putting things back together. It’s really amazing that such a beautiful mansion remains at this location when so many of its contemporaries were knocked down so that skyscrapers could be built in their place. In fact, the...

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Status Update: The Roosevelt Collection
Nov25

Status Update: The Roosevelt Collection

Construction continues at The Roosevelt Collection (150 West Roosevelt Road), one of the city center’s biggest projects.  People are already living in the residential component, and the movie theater is expected to open next month.  Between this and the Target next door, the South Loop is really developing some nice amenities for the urban pioneers who live there.

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