Eye on the (Wanda) Vista
Aug13

Eye on the (Wanda) Vista

It’s not a bulldozer, or a foundation permit, or even a strategically placed port-a-potty, but it’s still a sign that the Wanda Vista Tower is moving right along toward reality.  Magellan Development has started sending out these ads to people it thinks might be interested in living in the planned 93-story supertower at 381 East Wacker Drive. One of those people happens to be Loop Spy Daniel, who forwarded the...

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Taller, Flatter Wanda Vista Tower Meets the Public
Apr13

Taller, Flatter Wanda Vista Tower Meets the Public

The upgrade in ballrooms at the Radisson Blu Aqua (225 North Columbus Drive) turned out to be a great call, as hundreds of people packed the seats the hear Alderman Brendan Reilly (42nd) introduce the latest revision to Chicago’s next big thing — The Wanda Vista Tower (381 East Wacker Drive). Rest assured, it wasn’t just the tables full of cookies the crowd wanted to see.  Downtown residents were eager to get their first...

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Better Than a Parking Lot, But Is This the Museum Chicago’s Looking For?
Nov04

Better Than a Parking Lot, But Is This the Museum Chicago’s Looking For?

  The people behind the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art have released their vision of a new lakefront home.  The controversial museum would be located near Soldier Field in the Chicago’s Museum Campus.  Preservationists see the construction of any new structure along the city’s downtown shoreline as an affront, pushing instead to protect the surface parking lot which currently occupies the site. The early drawings of...

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Wanda Gets Stacked
Oct30

Wanda Gets Stacked

The picture of the new 1,150-foot multi-use tower at 301 North Field Boulevard/375 East Wacker Drive is getting clearer.  No, new drawings haven’t surfaced.  But a very trusted little birdie who’s in a position to know things, and whom in the history of this blog has yet to lead us astray, has chirped a few sweet nothings into our tip line. We already knew the building was 89-stories tall.  That’s what Mr. Wanda told...

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Waving a Magic Wanda
Oct29

Waving a Magic Wanda

Are you the sort of person who enjoys rejection? Need to feel like everybody hates you?  Well, have I got a way to feed your beast.  Start asking Chicago’s leading architects and developers about the Wanda Tower.  You’ll get the door slammed in your face faster than a ketchup salesman in Wrigley Field. Ever since the richest man in China put out a press release stating that he was going to build an 11-hundred-foot-tall...

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A Ditch Called Wanda: Early Signs that Chicago’s Next Supertall Tower Isn’t Just a Paper Tiger
Sep29

A Ditch Called Wanda: Early Signs that Chicago’s Next Supertall Tower Isn’t Just a Paper Tiger

When a massive Chinese conglomerate that most Americans have never heard of announced it was going to splash out almost a billion dollars to put up an 1,150-foot-tall tower in Lakeshore East, you could hear the critics scoffing from Berwyn to Beijing.  We’ve seen lots of proposals on paper over the years for huge projects all around downtown Chicago, and very few of them have ever made it past the press release and a...

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Lucas Picks a Pair of Rising Starchitects for His Chicago Lakefront Museum
Jul28

Lucas Picks a Pair of Rising Starchitects for His Chicago Lakefront Museum

They wanted iconic.  They wanted different.  And it seems the people behind the proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art have picked talent matching those parameters to design the new museum on Chicago’s Lakefront. First up is a known local quantity.  Jeanne Gang burst onto Chicago’s architectural scene with her beautiful-on-the-outside, mediocre-on-the-inside tower Aqua (225 North Columbus Drive).  Aqua’s undulating...

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University of Chicago Breaks Ground on Studio Gang Dorm
Jun06

University of Chicago Breaks Ground on Studio Gang Dorm

  It’s been a year since we first brought you news that Chicago’s own Studio Gang Architects would leave its Midas touch on the University of Chicago.  Today the U.C. will break ground on the new dorm. This article was published before the groundbreaking actually happened, so instead of pictures of people in suits standing around with hard hats and shovels, enjoy the video of the completed building above.  Or if...

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Can Jeanne Gang Pull Another Rabbit Out of Her Hat at Lakeshore East?
Mar04

Can Jeanne Gang Pull Another Rabbit Out of Her Hat at Lakeshore East?

For the first time in a long time, there is no residential tower under construction at Lakeshore East.  The decade-old community on the edge of downtown Chicago was formerly an old urban golf course, and before that, warehouses and a rail yard.   Today, thousands of people live and work in the complex, which rings a six-acre park built by the project’s developer, Magellan, and later donated to the Chicago Parks District.  But...

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Slice of Life: Can You See the Face Hidden in Aqua?
Dec27

Slice of Life: Can You See the Face Hidden in Aqua?

On a typically frigid December afternoon, I snapped this photograph of the celebrated Aqua tower (225 North Columbus Drive).  As I was taking the photo, a man said to me, “Do you see the face?” My first instinct was to respond with my standard answer any time someone unexpectedly starts talking to me in Chicago, “I don’t carry cash.”  But instead I managed to mumble, “Whuuuh?” He went on at...

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