John Hancock Center Latest Name to be Erased from Chicago’s Lexicon
Feb12

John Hancock Center Latest Name to be Erased from Chicago’s Lexicon

Chicago’s venerable John Hancock Center is the latest name to be thrown on the city’s rubbish pile of the past. It joins The Sears Tower, The Amoco Building, Marshall Field’s and other beloved brand names that have been eschewed in recent history.  Strangely, instead of this being a case of big business scrambling to wring every precious dollar from their properties in order to satiate faceless institutional...

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Hancock Highlighted as Google Honors Fazlur Khan
Apr03

Hancock Highlighted as Google Honors Fazlur Khan

Google has honored thousands of events, celebrities, scientists, and others over the years with its “Google Doodles,” the cartoons that often replace its logo when people search for things. Today, Chicago gets a two-fer. The primary beneficiary is Fazlur Khan, the legendary structural engineer who worked at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill’s Chicago office until his death in 1982. Today would have been his 88th birthday....

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Willis Ups the Ante in the Battle of Chicago Observatories
Mar24

Willis Ups the Ante in the Battle of Chicago Observatories

If cats could vote in travel magazine polls, chances are they’d make Chicago the #1 city they’d want to visit.  If you’re a cat owner, you already know why: Cats love to go to high places and look down on everyone else.  And Chicago has no shortage of perfect public perches. One of those perches has announced plans it hopes will sway people to choose its lofty heights over the competing options.  It’s the...

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Chicago About to Lose Another Skyscraper Title
Mar21

Chicago About to Lose Another Skyscraper Title

One of the great things about living in Chicago’s John Hancock Center (875 North Michigan Avenue) is the pool.  Sure, there are lots of skyscrapers in Chicago with their own pools, but the Hancock’s is different in three key ways: It’s inside, so you can use it all year It’s a real full-sized pool, not one of these decorative wading ponds that developers opt for these days It’s on the 44th floor That...

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Stick a Skyline in Someone’s Stocking
Nov18

Stick a Skyline in Someone’s Stocking

When looking for Christmas gifts for the architecture enthusiast in your life, Legos have been a go-to staple for decades.  Now there’s a new reason to risk stepping on the little bricklets while walking around the house barefoot in the middle of the night. The company that makes the best thing to come out of Denmark since diminutive sea brides has announced that it’s putting out a new Lego set about Chicago....

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No More Talkin’ ‘Bout “Willis” — Two Chicago Skyscraper Icons Due for Name Changes: ST
May23

No More Talkin’ ‘Bout “Willis” — Two Chicago Skyscraper Icons Due for Name Changes: ST

Two of Chicago’s tallest skyscrapers are getting new names — Names that don’t even belong to companies in them, according to the Sun-Times. Extraordinarily well-connected columnist Michael Sneed reports that both the John Hancock Center (875 North Michigan Avenue) and the Willis Tower (233 South Wacker Drive) are close to inking deals that would give naming rights to third-party companies, with headquarters elsewhere. The...

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The Sinclair Doubles Down On Building Upward
Mar04

The Sinclair Doubles Down On Building Upward

It was a busy day for work toys for McHugh Construction at The Sinclair.

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Plans Outlined for a Four-Story Retail Crown at the John Hancock Center
Oct27

Plans Outlined for a Four-Story Retail Crown at the John Hancock Center

A plan to significantly redevelop the John Hancock Center’s plaza was proposed tonight by the owner of the tower’s retail space, the Hearn Company. In its current state, the building’s plaza is a sunken terrace that sits adjacent to and below Michigan Avenue, providing pedestrian access to tenant storefronts below ground level. The problem with this layout the Hearn Company is trying to solve is that it’s visually uninviting to...

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Renewed Concern About the John Hancock Center’s Name
Oct13

Renewed Concern About the John Hancock Center’s Name

It’s been a rough decade or so for Chicago’s identity.  As the city is becoming more and more homogenized, we’ve lost all of our big local banks (don’t be fooled by “Harris Bank,” it’s actually Bank of Montreal).  The one remaining downtown department store is owned by a company in Cincinnati.  And even the tallest building in the city has the name of a London insurance company on it....

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Will Aon Center be Chicago’s Next Skyscraper to Sport an Observation Deck?
Jul06

Will Aon Center be Chicago’s Next Skyscraper to Sport an Observation Deck?

  Better late than never, Chicago’s third-tallest building may soon get into the observation deck business.  Crain’s Chicago Business reports that some of the potential new owners of the Aon Center at 200 East Randolph Street want to open the upper reaches of the stately skyscraper to the public. The 83-story building in Chicago’s New Eastside is currently for sale, and expected to fetch well in excess of...

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