West Town Welcomes Our Robotic Parking Overlords
Dec01

West Town Welcomes Our Robotic Parking Overlords

It’s with a small tear of sadness that we bid farewell to the collection of centenarian commercial buildings about to be erased from 723 through 733 West Randolph Street in West Town.  Heneghan Wrecking is about to do a number on them. Chocolate box assortments of brick and timber such as these are not uncommon in Chicago, but they are fairly rare to find in such a vibrant retail corridor.  You would think that the prime...

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Chicago Neverbuilt — Episode 9: Not the Optima Solution
Mar13

Chicago Neverbuilt — Episode 9: Not the Optima Solution

Our Chicago Neverbuilt series continues to celebrate the work of great architects that, for one reason or another, failed to make the transition from imagination to reality. Last month we published a status update on the Optima Chicago Center’s second tower, known locally as Optima II (220 East Illinois Street). A reader wrote in asking about the foundation of the building, specifically its caissons which seemed to be left over...

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Up-Close and Personal With 725 West Randolph, RoboParkingTower
Nov27

Up-Close and Personal With 725 West Randolph, RoboParkingTower

Something unusual happened yesterday.  A developer unveiled a 31-story residential tower to be built on Restaurant Row, and the neighbors failed to lose their minds over it. In fact, the feedback we’ve heard from our readers has been overwhelmingly positive.  And word on the street is that folks just west of the Kennedy Expressway are pretty happy with it, too. The building was designed by friends-of-the-blog, SMDP.  They, along...

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Proposed West Loop Skyscraper to Include Robotic Valet Parking
Nov27

Proposed West Loop Skyscraper to Include Robotic Valet Parking

In “4 Days Out” from the second season of “Breaking Bad,” Jesse Pinkman posed the question to Walter White: “What are we building . . . A robot?” Messrs. White and Pinkman were, of course, building a battery. Robots? They’ll be parking cars in the West Loop, if a proposed retail-residential skyscraper gets the go-ahead from community groups and the Department of Housing and Economic Development, and 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett...

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It’s the End of the Line for 601 West Monroe
Feb28

It’s the End of the Line for 601 West Monroe

Pity poor 601 West Monroe — Tossed on the architectural scrapheap before it could even break ground. Last week we brought you the story of 601’s neighbor — 625 West Monroe, the potentially 75-story tower planned for the surface parking lot between Presidential Towers (555 West Madison Street) and Heritage Green Park (610 West Adams Street). How does one get 75-stories on a quarter of a block?  You don’t.  The...

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The West Loop’s Mothballed BP Tower May Still Rise Under a Different Name
Feb21

The West Loop’s Mothballed BP Tower May Still Rise Under a Different Name

Christmas came late to Chicago’s skyscraper enthusiasts when last week a plan was announced to erect a 75-story office tower at 601 West Monroe Street.  For the first time in a long time, their Christmas stockings would be stuffed with a truly interesting design, at a highly-visible downtown location, backed by a developer flush with cash from recent building sales. We saw the drawing in Crain’s Chicago Business, too, and...

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