Two Tower Project To Replace the Chicago Spire Goes to Plan Commission With An Unusual Condition
May17

Two Tower Project To Replace the Chicago Spire Goes to Plan Commission With An Unusual Condition

The 35-year saga of 400 North Lake Shore Drive may finally come to a conclusion soon, as this week the Chicago Plan Commission is scheduled to consider the latest proposal for the property on the northwest corner of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. March 2020 rendering of 400 North Lake Shore Drive (Courtesy of Related Midwest) The location is perfect for a prominent, eye-catching trophy tower, and even in the mid-1980’s...

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Spire Site Skyscrapers Shaved In Second Swing
Mar02

Spire Site Skyscrapers Shaved In Second Swing

These days it seems like the only thing harder than finding a Cubs game on television is building a skyscraper at 400 North Lake Shore Drive. But Related Midwest is heating up the pine tar to take another swing. February 2020 rendering of 400 North Lake Shore Drive (via the Office of Alderman Brendan Reilly) You’ll remember that 400 was going to be the location of the Fordham Spire, which failed. Then it was going to be the...

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Is The City Trying To Hurry Up the Chicago Spire Replacement?
Jan28

Is The City Trying To Hurry Up the Chicago Spire Replacement?

We’re not going to pretend that we fully understand all of the nuances of the delicate waltz known as Chicago Zoning.  But something popped up on the radar that’s worth noting now, just in case it’s something later. 400 North Lake Shore Drive, Related Midwest’s replacement for the failed Chicago Spire, may soon have a deadline to begin construction. In March the Chicago Plan Commission will be asked to amend...

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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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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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Baby Steps Toward The Spire
Mar12

Baby Steps Toward The Spire

The daring, beautiful, controversial, despised, exuberant, loved, hated Chicago Spire took another baby step toward reality in a bankruptcy courtroom yesterday. Crain’s Chicago Business reports that the main parties involved in a three-way tug-of-war over the project have some to an agreement about the site’s short-term future. But the long-term vision is still a little hazy. Garrett Kelleher, the Spire’s most recent...

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