A Little Skyscraper Abracadabra Along Grant Park
Nov07

A Little Skyscraper Abracadabra Along Grant Park

Sometimes the monotony of life becomes a way of life.  Keep your head down.  Stay off the boss’ radar.  Don’t attract attention.  But keeping our heads down, while a common survival skill, prevents us from seeing the marvels the city of Chicago serves up around us every day. You don’t need Cher to give you a wet slap across the face to snap out of it.  Just look at the animation below. Joe Zekas of YoChicago! sent...

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Dopes on a Rope: Urban Explorers Climb Two Chicago Construction Cranes
Jul25

Dopes on a Rope: Urban Explorers Climb Two Chicago Construction Cranes

There’s something about being young that makes you believe that you’re indestructible.  I can’t be all that critical of the feeling, because when I was a youth, I ate so many Doritos my corpse will never decompose. At least I had the sense not to climb to the top of a 900-foot-tall construction crane.  That’s just stupid. But that’s just what a youthful “urban explorer” codenamed Ugly Steffy...

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Essex on the Park Eclipses Nearby Hilton Chicago 
Mar26

Essex on the Park Eclipses Nearby Hilton Chicago 

It’s only been a month since we last checked in on the construction of Essex on the Park (800 South Michigan Avenue), and the thing is sprouting like spring tulips in a Michigan Avenue median.  Eventually.  We promise they will. As for the Essex, since the end of February it’s put on a dozen floors as it climbs to an eventual 56-stories in height.  This time last month, it was the same height as the Hilton Chicago (720...

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With its Tower Underway, Construction at Essex on the Park Turns Inn-ward
Feb20

With its Tower Underway, Construction at Essex on the Park Turns Inn-ward

The Essex on the Park development across the street from Grant Park is about to enter the fix-the-hotel phase of the project. Ten months ago, Oxford Capital and Quadrum Global were given construction permits by the city to start work on the new 56-story residential tower that is rising next to the time-worn hotel.  As you can see in the photo below, taken by YoChicago!‘s Joe Zekas from One Grant Park, work on the skyscraper is...

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Essex on the Park Ready to Take Off
Jul07

Essex on the Park Ready to Take Off

The latest skyscraper to change Chicago’s skyline has been given permission to take off. Essex on the Park (808 South Michigan Avenue) has been given its papers and can now grow to its anticipated height of 620 feet, right across the street from Grant Park. FULL BUILDING PERMIT (FOUNDATION PERMIT ISSUED UNDER 100684545) FOR A PROPOSED 56 STORY 479 DWELLING UNITS RESIDENTIAL BUILDING; 84 PARKING SPACES; GROUND FLOOR RETAIL; ALL...

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Grant Park’s Newest Anchor Inching Skyward
Jun12

Grant Park’s Newest Anchor Inching Skyward

Eight floors is a long way from 76, but it’s a lot closer than zero.  Especially when you’re talking about building a skyscraper on the south end of Grant Park. The skyscraper in question is One Grant Park, the 829-foot-tall residential tower designed by Rafael Viñoly for Crescent Heights.  Last week the City of Chicago issued another construction permit for the project, allowing it to climb to the not-so-dizzying height...

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New 56-Story Michigan Avenue Tower Gets Money, Gets Busy
Jan03

New 56-Story Michigan Avenue Tower Gets Money, Gets Busy

This morning it was announced that the developers of Essex On The Park, the new 56-story apartment building in the South Loop landed a $170 million loan to begin construction of the luxury tower. Almost simultaneously, work crews showed up at 808 South Michigan Avenue to put up scaffolding and barriers so that demolition, and eventually construction, can begin. Essex on the Park was designed by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture and is...

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