John Buck Company About to Put the “See” in Chicago’s New CNA Center
Jul25

John Buck Company About to Put the “See” in Chicago’s New CNA Center

Three years ago we were the first to tell you about a new building for 151 North Franklin. One year ago, we were the first tell you the parking lot at Randolph and Franklin closed. Ten months ago we brought you the first pictures of the demolition of the adjacent Walgreens. Seven months ago we were the first to tell you that the building would be called the CNA Center. Five months ago we were the first to show you work starting on the...

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John Buck Company Breaks Ground on 151 North Franklin
Apr07

John Buck Company Breaks Ground on 151 North Franklin

With caissons buried in the ground at 151 North Franklin Street, it was time for John Buck Company to break ground on 151 North Franklin in The Loop Thursday morning. As you may recall, Case Foundation took over the lot at Franklin and Randolph immediately after Buck received the foundation permit in late February. And now, barely a month later, caisson equipment is being removed from the site, even as dignitaries and media filed into...

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Big Red’s Sale Another Step In CNA’s Cross-Loop Move
Mar28

Big Red’s Sale Another Step In CNA’s Cross-Loop Move

We don’t do a lot of real estate news here, preferring to focus on the architecture and development side of things.  But the recent sale of the big red skyscraper at 333 South Wabash is a little bit of both things.  That’s because its sale is an integral part of the do-si-do that is making the construction of a new skyscraper at 151 North Franklin possible. The red building is CNA Center.  And so is 151 North Franklin....

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The 4OneOne on 3Eleven
Mar16

The 4OneOne on 3Eleven

Earlier this year, the city of Chicago approved the construction of a new residential tower at 311 West Illinois in River North (though you’d never know it since Alderman Reilly hasn’t updated his web site yet in 2016).  It’s a partnership between the John Buck Company and the Order of Friars Servants of Mary, USA Province.  Buck gets to build a shiny new skyscraper called 3Eleven in the parking lot of Assumption...

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Permit in Hand, Buck Wastes No Time on New CNA Center
Mar02

Permit in Hand, Buck Wastes No Time on New CNA Center

Well, that was fast. It was just this past Friday afternoon that the city bestowed upon the John Buck Company and its contractors permission to build the new CNA Center at 151 North Franklin Street.  Then, bright screaming early Monday morning, the northeast corner of Franklin and Randolph Streets started filling up with heavy equipment. I’ve got laundry sitting in the dryer longer than that. A fleet of flatbeds started...

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Second of Three Northwest Loop Towers About to Climb
Feb29

Second of Three Northwest Loop Towers About to Climb

When we first started this publication almost a decade-and-a-half ago, there wasn’t much to the northwest section of the Loop.  Aside from the towers lining West and North Wacker Drives, and a few oddballs like 181 West Madison, there wasn’t much tall, new, and shiny going on. That changed in the last few years when two new residential skyscrapers popped up and a few of the office tower gaps on Wacker filled in.  Now the...

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Chicago Plan Commission Approves Assumption Catholic Church Project
Feb19

Chicago Plan Commission Approves Assumption Catholic Church Project

Thursday, the Chicago Plan Commission gave its approval for a multi-dimensional project involving the Assumption Catholic Church and grounds at 311 West Illinois Street. The big addition to the neighborhood would be 3Eleven, a 23-story apartment tower designed by friends-of-the-blog FitzGerald Associates, in what is now a surface parking lot on the southwest corner of Illinois and Franklin Streets. Developer John Buck Company wants to...

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A Fine Frenzy on Franklin
Feb02

A Fine Frenzy on Franklin

There are no construction permits for the future skyscraper at 151 North Franklin just yet, but much work is underway getting the site ready for groundbreaking. Loop Spy Mike sent in the photograph above showing workers scurrying all over the now vacant lot at the corner of North Franklin and West Randolph Streets where until recently a terrible Walgreens and an awesome Chinese restaurant stood. Most interesting is the southeast...

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Landmark “CNA Center” Name Moving Across the Loop [u]
Dec16

Landmark “CNA Center” Name Moving Across the Loop [u]

For almost a half a century, the name “CNA Center” (and its predecessors) has been synonymous with the incongruous red steel skyscraper at 333 South Wabash Avenue, just off Grant Park.  Now that name is going to belong to a new building. The John Buck Company‘s new 151 North Franklin project is now going to be known as CNA Center, as the insurance company has committed to leasing 275,000 square feet of the planned...

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Hole-in-the-wall Walgreens Building Has Holes in the Walls
Nov13

Hole-in-the-wall Walgreens Building Has Holes in the Walls

  It seems like forever since the Walgreens store at Randolph and Franklin streets was closed to make room for a new office building in The Loop. But sure enough, the 2-story edifice that will soon be the 36-story, John Ronan-designed tower 151 North Franklin is starting to crumble, little bit by little bit. For now, it’s looking more like a game of Reverse Tetris than a demolition site, but we’re betting the whole...

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