John Buck Company Breaks Ground on 151 North Franklin
Apr07

John Buck Company Breaks Ground on 151 North Franklin

With caissons buried in the ground at 151 North Franklin Street, it was time for John Buck Company to break ground on 151 North Franklin in The Loop Thursday morning. As you may recall, Case Foundation took over the lot at Franklin and Randolph immediately after Buck received the foundation permit in late February. And now, barely a month later, caisson equipment is being removed from the site, even as dignitaries and media filed into...

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With History Now History, 215 West Lake Looks Toward Tomorrow
Feb10

With History Now History, 215 West Lake Looks Toward Tomorrow

We’ve made enough of an issue about the more-than-a-century-old building at 209 West Lake Street; it’s time to move on to what will take its place. On the 28th of January, 215 West Lake was permitted by the City of Chicago to begin foundation work. FOUNDATION THROUGH 4TH FLOOR SUPERSTRUCTURE AND UNDERGROUND PLUMBING AND ELECTRICAL ONLY PERMIT… That was followed up with a tower crane permit on February 1st. PHASE 1...

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They Say The Neon Lights Are Bright, On Waaaaabash
Feb04

They Say The Neon Lights Are Bright, On Waaaaabash

It was a big night for Jack Newell and Seth Unger, the driving forces behind The Wabash Lights, a public art installation that made its beta-test debut beneath the Wabash L tracks Thursday evening. And looking at them gave us anything but the blues. Though, they *are* blue. Sometimes. The Wabash Lights project gained notoriety in June of last year, when Newell and Unger launched a Kickstarter campaign to procure the funding needed to...

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215 West Lake Garage Crumbles Ahead of Residential Tower
Dec02

215 West Lake Garage Crumbles Ahead of Residential Tower

What used to be a two-story parking garage at 215 West Lake Street in The Loop is in the process of being demolished, clearing the site for a new apartment tower, for now known simply, and unsurprisingly, as 215 West Lake. Details have been hard to come by for the new project by Chicago firm Thomas Roszak Architects, but expect a 33-story tower comprised of 260-some apartments. The prolific donut franchise formerly shoehorned into the...

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11 Fun Facts To Celebrate Millenium Park’s Birthday
Jul16

11 Fun Facts To Celebrate Millenium Park’s Birthday

It’s a meeting place, a concert venue, an ice rink, and a photo backdrop for wedding parties and quinceañeras. It is, of course, Millenium Park, which today celebrates it’s 11th birthday. In lieu of 11 candles, here are 11 fun facts about the park. 1. Cloud GateCloud Gate (“The Bean”) was inspired by liquid mercury. 2. Building the park wasn’t cheap, and certainly more expensive than originally planned. The proposed budget was $150...

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A Doggone Good Outcome For Maggie Daley Park’s Unpopular Canine Ban
Feb27

A Doggone Good Outcome For Maggie Daley Park’s Unpopular Canine Ban

There were no TV crews at the Grant Park Advisory Council & Conservancy meeting on Thursday night. Not like a month ago when the agenda included the park’s dog ban—a move that generated considerable resident and media heat. No, the fourth estate has moved on, attracted to the next shiny object. In fact, the audience of locals was quite a bit smaller this time as well. The only thing I witnessed that might pass for canine activism...

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Slice Of Life: Cubs #14 Honored In Lights At Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower
Jan28

Slice Of Life: Cubs #14 Honored In Lights At Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower at 300 E. Randolph is a Chicago landmark not just for its distinctive exterior but also because of the building’s lights. Every year the company creates dozens of lighting displays to promote wellness and other messages. A computerized lighting program creates the display, along with some manual assistance (closing certain blinds to accentuate the effect). This week, the Blue Cross lights offer a...

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Looking Up Aqua’s Skirt
Jan28

Looking Up Aqua’s Skirt

For the last few years, Aqua (430 East Waterside Drive), the Studio Gang skyscraper that anchors the west end of Lakeshore East, has generated more local and international buzz than pretty much any other new Chicago building.  But most people only admire it from afar. Even those tourists and architectural photographers who make us feel up-close to Aqua while trying to make sense, patterns, and art out of its rows of wavy balconies...

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Renovating an Old Landmark

One of my favorite old Chicago buildings is going to be renovated. I’ve long admired the Old Republic Building (307 North Michigan Avenue).  Maybe because of its anonymity — it’s not as flashy as the Carbide and Carbon Building (230 North Michigan Avenue)across the street.  Maybe because it suits its corner so well.  Maybe because I’ve spent any number of hours standing in its shadow waiting for a 151 bus....

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Pix: Block37 LED Displays

Earlier this year we mentioned the new LED displays now adorning the atrium of Block37 (1 West Randolph Street), and posted a few pictures and a video.  Now we’ve been sent a press release from the company that engineered the displays, along with some much better pictures than we had: Block 37 and Daktronics Video Displays Unite for Powerful Visual Advertising Impact New LED Video Screens Position Block 37 as Chicago’s...

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