What’s Underneath Chicago’s Urban Parks? Disappointment, If You’re a Worm
Jan17

What’s Underneath Chicago’s Urban Parks? Disappointment, If You’re a Worm

It’s always fun to listen in to tourists at Millennium Park ooh-ing and aah-ing at the amazing job the City of Chicago has done preserving such a large slice of nature in the heart of the city. The vast majority of them don’t know that underneath the wild-looking flowerbeds, the stately lawns, and the carefully channeled rivulet is a vast parking garage, and a commuter train station. But that’s OK. They came to...

Read More
Two New Loop Skyscrapers Top Off
Jan14

Two New Loop Skyscrapers Top Off

While the bulk of the architectural press in Chicago has been focused on the St. Regis Chicago tower, just a block away two other skyscrapers have been quietly growing in its shadow. Well, “quietly,” unless you live in Lakeshore East, which has been under constant development since we started publishing way back in 2003. But such are the perils of urban living. January, 2021 rendering of Cirrus (Courtesy of Lendlease)...

Read More
O, No! Last Lakeshore East Skyscraper Downsized Again
Jan11

O, No! Last Lakeshore East Skyscraper Downsized Again

The plan for the last skyscraper in Lakeshore East in The Loop has been revised again. Building O will occupy the cleft between Aqua and 300 East Randolph. Eventually. We’ve been waiting for Building O for some time now. Even moreso after an Aqua leasing agent swore up and down that no building would ever be built in that space, blocking anyone’s views. Ever. Prominse. Pinky swear. Days later, the first plan for Building O...

Read More
Bowing Down Before Saint Regis in The Loop
Jan03

Bowing Down Before Saint Regis in The Loop

Remember back at the beginning of the pandemic, when we were all going to use our quarantine time to learn a new language, read Somerset Maugham, and write The Great American Novel? Somehow none of that happened. Like a Big Gulp cup on the side of the Edens, all those aspirations somehow escaped our grasps. Just like the New Year’s resolutions we made 75 days earlier to be nicer to Larry in accounting, call our mothers more...

Read More
With Vista in the Rear Mirror, Focus Shifts to Cirrus and Cascade
Dec08

With Vista in the Rear Mirror, Focus Shifts to Cirrus and Cascade

We’ve been watching Lakeshore East evolve since before construction started, and this is the first time that it’s had three skyscrapers under construction at the same time:  St. Regis, Cirrus, and Cascade. Cascade under construction (Courtesy of YoChicago!) Lots has already been written about the St. Regis Tower, formerly the Vista Tower, formerly the Wanda Vista Tower, (formerly the Dailan Wanda Vista Tower), so...

Read More
Downtown Chicago Fertile Ground for Mechanical Beanstalks
Oct26

Downtown Chicago Fertile Ground for Mechanical Beanstalks

If you’re going to get jumped in downtown Chicago, try to be a crane. Cirrus and Cascade under construction (Courtesy of YoChicago!) Crane jumps are scheduled for this week at Lakeshore East.  Lendlease is increasing the height of the tower cranes building the Cirrus and Cascade residential towers on the southwest corner of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. The window for the big yellow beasts to become super-sized opened on...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More