Chicago Welcomes Wanda — Its New 1,151-Foot-Tall Bride
Nov19

Chicago Welcomes Wanda — Its New 1,151-Foot-Tall Bride

The Chicago Plan Commission has voted to approve the Wanda Vista Tower, the new 11-hundred-foot-tall residential and hotel skyscraper planned for 381 East Wacker Drive on the northern edge of Lakeshore East. It’s Chicago’s most anticipated supertall tower since the last one, which ended up not getting built.  Not just “not getting built,” the Chicago Spire ended up leaving a giant circular acne scar on the...

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Is Chicago’s Skyscraper Boom a Sign of Impending Doom?
Oct12

Is Chicago’s Skyscraper Boom a Sign of Impending Doom?

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past few months you might have noticed a crane or two popping up around the city. Perhaps you were curious enough to browse a few sources to learn that not only will cranes continue to pop up, but Chicago is experiencing a construction boom that not only can be measured by the volume of towers under construction, but by the magnitude of future construction projects proposed. Some, if...

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First Look Inside the (Wanda) Vista Tower
Sep17

First Look Inside the (Wanda) Vista Tower

Last night Lakeshore East residents and pretty much anyone who filled out the inquiry form on the (don’t call it Wanda) Vista Tower’s web site was invited to a presentation about the ultra-lux skyscraper planned for 381 East Wacker Drive. We’ve already seen lots of glossy pictures of the outside of the Magellan Development/Wanda Group 93-story supertower.  Last night was about the interiors, which were designed...

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Eye on the (Wanda) Vista
Aug13

Eye on the (Wanda) Vista

It’s not a bulldozer, or a foundation permit, or even a strategically placed port-a-potty, but it’s still a sign that the Wanda Vista Tower is moving right along toward reality.  Magellan Development has started sending out these ads to people it thinks might be interested in living in the planned 93-story supertower at 381 East Wacker Drive. One of those people happens to be Loop Spy Daniel, who forwarded the...

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What’s Next For Lakeshore East: Pedways, Parks and Pupils
Jun22

What’s Next For Lakeshore East: Pedways, Parks and Pupils

The late mayor Richard J. Daley famously referred to Chicago as “The City That Works.”  The reason the City That Works works at all is because of a complex thicket of paperwork that spells out the rules and procedures for pretty much everything that happens in the city, from the correct size of a parking space on a one-way street with diagonal parking on both sides (17 feet x 9 feet) to the number of parking spaces...

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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Wanda Vista Tower
Jun18

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Wanda Vista Tower

Where do we even begin with this one? The Wanda Vista Tower is official.  Not that the 1,151-foot-tall supertower planned for 381 East Wacker Drive wasn’t official when Wang Jianlin, the richest man in China, ballyhooed her into existence almost a year ago.  Or when 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly held a public meeting about her two months ago.  But the kind of official we like — in black and white paperwork, stacked high, in...

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Where to Get Your First Real Taste of the Wanda Vista Tower
Jun12

Where to Get Your First Real Taste of the Wanda Vista Tower

All eyes are on 381 East Wacker Drive these days as everyone from heavy-breathing skyscraper nerds to drooling real estate agents search out any sign that Chicago’s next mega tower might actually be built.  That sign has come.  In the form of a building permit for the Wanda Vista Tower’s sales office. The sales office will be carved out of 10,000 square feet of space at the nearby Coast building (345 East Wacker Drive)....

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Taller, Flatter Wanda Vista Tower Meets the Public
Apr13

Taller, Flatter Wanda Vista Tower Meets the Public

The upgrade in ballrooms at the Radisson Blu Aqua (225 North Columbus Drive) turned out to be a great call, as hundreds of people packed the seats the hear Alderman Brendan Reilly (42nd) introduce the latest revision to Chicago’s next big thing — The Wanda Vista Tower (381 East Wacker Drive). Rest assured, it wasn’t just the tables full of cookies the crowd wanted to see.  Downtown residents were eager to get their first...

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Come Say Hello to Wanda
Apr03

Come Say Hello to Wanda

A couple of days ago, The Chicago Architecture Blog’s Daniel Schell stood near an empty lot in Lakeshore East, craned his neck skyward and tried to imagine the muddy chunk of barren land as something more: The Wanda Tower, climbing 88 stories into the blue, blue Chicago sky. Amazingly, at that very moment the mailman was delivering letters from 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly inviting neighbors to a public meeting to discuss...

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Wanda Tower Loses One Floor, Internet Loses its Mind
Dec18

Wanda Tower Loses One Floor, Internet Loses its Mind

Editor’s note: It’s not often I publish an article like this, but some days when you wake up and the cats are fighting and you’re out of milk and one communist nation is making threats while another communist nation is cozying up to your government, you just need to rant a little. In the greatest MacBeth-ian tradition, this article is “A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing....

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