Mirror, Mirror, in the Skyline…
Aug04

Mirror, Mirror, in the Skyline…

When I was a little baby journalist, busy getting my high school newspaper shut down for publishing provocative prose, I had a principal who constantly drilled into the student body the one notion he swore would lead us to success in life: “Always be in the right place at the right time.” It’s unlikely that Joe Zekas over at YoChicago! had the benefit of Father McHugh’s advice the way I did. But Mr. Zekas was,...

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Optima II Adds Touch of Glass to Streeterville
Apr11

Optima II Adds Touch of Glass to Streeterville

Add a partial row of glass curtain to the list of achievements at Part II of the Optima Chicago Center at 220 East Illinois Street in Streeterville. Optima’s own construction crews have been busy on this site since they started pushing dirt around way back in 2014. The Optima II project has a fun firehose to share with you: Developer – Optima Architect – David Hovey Architecture firm – Optima General Contractor...

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See What the Steelworker Sees at Optima Center
Aug27

See What the Steelworker Sees at Optima Center

Yesterday we showed you a vertigo-inducing view looking down on the 200 North Michigan Avenue construction site from way up high inside Michigan Plaza. If that picture didn’t make you barf, this one might do the trick. Joe over at YoChicago! sent over this picture he took last Friday when he found himself on the roof of the Optima Center I at 200 East Illinois Street.  Naturally, he leaned over the building’s glassy facade...

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Optimistic About Optima II
Jul17

Optimistic About Optima II

After a slow start, one thing is starting to lead to another at the site of what will eventually be the Optima II tower, behind Tribune Tower at 220 East Illinois Street in Streeterville. It’s been almost a month since the city issued permits for a temporary tower crane to get the 54-story residential building started. And as The Chicago Architecture Blog’s Daniel Schell discovered, the little red stub is finally in place...

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Status Update: Optima Chicago Center
Apr02

Status Update: Optima Chicago Center

The Optima Chicago Center (200 East Illinois Street) is gaining height and prominence in the Streeterville skyline.  Now that it’s climbed significantly past its black glass parking podium, the blue glass has taken over. When completed, it will have 325 apartments over a 238-car garage and a smattering of retail space in a 42-story glass block. For a long time, we were worried that this would be a very ugly addition to the...

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Optima Puts on its Black Glasses
Sep13

Optima Puts on its Black Glasses

The Optima Center Chicago (200 East Illinois Street) is only a few floors above the Upper Illinois Street street level, but it’s already getting its black glass cladding. The color is certainly jarring, considering that most of Streeterville’s new buildings are done in blue.  It’s also a change from the original drawings of this project, which show the podium in blue, sympathetic to its neighbors. Compare the old and...

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New Chicago Skyscraper Faces New Challenges
Nov20

New Chicago Skyscraper Faces New Challenges

(Updated: November 21, 2011 @ 9:41am to include drawing of the building) We mentioned briefly last week that Crain’s Chicago Business reported that the stalled apartment building development at 200 East Illinois Street finally has the financial green light.  The 42-story tower will be sandwiched between Avenue East (160 East Illinois Street), the new Ronald McDonald House,  and The Fairbanks (280 East Illinois Street). Hours...

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