Jim Lowenberg 1934-2020
Oct19

Jim Lowenberg 1934-2020

The man who turned a grotty corner of The Loop into an architectural showcase and ushered in an age of downtown Chicago mega-developments has died. Jim Lowenberg was 86 years old. Lowenberg went into the family business after earning a degree in architecture from M.I.T. Building on a successful career designing skyscrapers around downtown Chicago, he helped found Magellan Development in 1996. That enabled him to create his crowning...

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Cirrus, Cascade Construction Continues
Oct05

Cirrus, Cascade Construction Continues

Since nobody except the employees of WBEZ have been to Navy Pier lately, chances are you’re not up to date on the construction progress of Cirrus and Cascade. Cirrus and Cascade under construction (Courtesy of YoChicago!) Fortunately, the lens crafters at YoChicago! are, and sent in these photographs taken from the roof of North Harbor Tower showing the progress on the two new skyscrapers at Lakeshore East. We hear that the ‘rona is...

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Watching the Watchers: The Webcams on Chicago’s Skyscrapers
Sep27

Watching the Watchers: The Webcams on Chicago’s Skyscrapers

Internet cameras have been around longer than the world wide web. We installed one of the planet’s first public webcams way back during the Clinton administration. It showed the Houston skyline as a hurricane swept through the city. Not many people watched it, largely because there weren’t that many people who had computers capable of streaming internet video back then. Things have changed, and now you can use your...

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Where Wacker Meets Field, Vista Tower Gets Complicated
Sep27

Where Wacker Meets Field, Vista Tower Gets Complicated

The construction of the Vista Tower at Lakeshore East fulfills a dream long-held by locals: A sane ending to Upper East Wacker Drive. For decades, this was a dead end, right in the heart of the city. It was only useful as a staging area for limousines, a viewing post for Navy Pier fireworks, and a trap for tourists who follow their nose instead of a map. ]Vista Tower under construction in September 2020 (Courtesy of YoChicago!) In...

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Pandemic Not Stopping Chicago’s Loop From Getting a New Skyscraper
Jul19

Pandemic Not Stopping Chicago’s Loop From Getting a New Skyscraper

A location where a grotty brick pile once hulked in The Loop will soon become a shiny new skyscraper, according to the Chicago Tribune.  Mr. Tribb reports that Sterling Bay and Magellan Development plan to break ground next month on a 47-story mixed use tower at 300 North Michigan Avenue. March 2019 rendering of 300 North Michigan Avenue We’ve been telling you about pending skyscraper plans for this location since 2017.  The...

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Chicago’s Latest 101-Story Skyscraper Is Almost Fork-Ready
Jun17

Chicago’s Latest 101-Story Skyscraper Is Almost Fork-Ready

If you happen to have a 200-foot-long fork, get ready to stick it in the Vista Tower.  That thing is almost done. Vista Tower under construction (June 2020, courtesy of YoChicago!) The nice folks over at YoChicago! jabbed the photograph above into our tip line.  It shows that the major work on Chicago’s newest 101-story skyscraper is almost over.  You can tell because the skip is coming down. If you’re not up on...

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Construction Workers Continue Pounding Away on Lakeshore East
Jun07

Construction Workers Continue Pounding Away on Lakeshore East

As people slowly emerge from their spider holes to explore the lakefront they once knew and adored, the joggers, cyclists, and yoga moms will discover lots of changes at Lakeshore East. Cirrus and Cascade under construction (Courtesy of YoChicago!) As you can see in these photographs sent in by YoChicago!, work continues on both the Cirrus and Cascade residential towers going up between Lake Shore Drive and North Harbor Drive.  When...

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Construction Crews Filling Out (Concrete) Forms in Lake Shore East
May30

Construction Crews Filling Out (Concrete) Forms in Lake Shore East

If you used to cut through the badlands between Lakeshore East and Lake Michigan to catch some rays in the summertime, you’re in for a surprise when the lakefront opens to the public again.  The badlands are gone. Construction of Cirrus and Cascade in May, 2020 (Courtesy of Joe Zekas/YoChicago!) Joe Zekas at YoChicago! sent over the photograph above showing the construction progress of  Cirrus and Cascade.  Those are two of...

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Chicago Architecture Firm Happy to Not Be Needed Today
May06

Chicago Architecture Firm Happy to Not Be Needed Today

While you were sequestered in your micro apartment exchanging accusing stares with your cat (she totally ate the last Yoplait), the boffins down at bKL Architecture have been fighting the good fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. And now their part is done. The Loop designers of glassy things that scrape the sky have completed their mission of banging out protective face shields with a stable of 3D printers.  Face shield production at...

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Counting Down to the Vista Tower Opening
Feb10

Counting Down to the Vista Tower Opening

It’s said that the devil is in the details.  Today, there’s an angel buried in there, deep down inside 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly’s latest missive to his constituents.  That’s where we find out when Magellan Development’s Vista Tower is going to open in Lakeshore East. Rendring of the Wanda Vista Tower (Courtesy of Studio Gang) “Magellan expects for this to occur in the third quarter of...

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