110 North Wacker (Bank of America Tower to some of you) is open to the public this weekend for Open House Chicago 2021. The 55th floor is a continuous, wide-open space, and a great vantage point to see Chicago. If you’re like me, and think the Sears Tower is just a tad too high for your modest camera-lens collection, this is the ticket.
I got a good view of our five remaining tower cranes from up here.
And an honorable mention for 300 North Michigan, which is being taken down.
This is a repost from December 2017, when the City of Chicago saw a total of 62 tower cranes in the air. I’m not confident in my ability to get an accurate count for 2021, but my guesstimate is somewhere around 25 so far.
Chicago closes 2017 having had a record 62 tower cranes operating across the skyline throughout the year. Before 2018 takes over, let’s recap them all.
Who had tower cranes in 2017?
Power Construction – 13
Lendlease – 13
McHugh Construction – 11
Linn-Mathes – 4
Walsh Construction – 3
W.E. O’Neil – 3
Clark Construction – 2
13 companies had one tower crane in 2017: Pepper Construction (Moxy Hotel); Macon Construction (No. 508); Centaur Construction (Nobu Hotel); Onni Group (Old Town Park); Optima (Optima Signature); M.A. Mortenson Company (Home2 Suites River North); Norcon (Illume Chicago); Bulley-Andrews (DePaul School of Music); Clayco (Cook County Central Campus Health Center); Novak Construction (171 Aberdeen); Leopardo Companies (210 North Carpenter); Tishman (aLoft Chicago Mag Mile); DLG (3833 North Broadway)
Where were they?
West Loop – 13
South Loop – 11
River North – 9
Streeterville – 8
Lincoln Park – 5
Lake View – 4
Near North – 2
Gold Coast – 2
Lakeshore East – 2
Six neighborhoods had one crane each in 2017 – The Loop (151 North Franklin); Illinois Medical District (Cook County Central Campus Health Center); Uptown (Eight Eleven Uptown); Hyde Park (Solstice on the Park); River West (Spoke); Wicker Park (Wicker Park Connection)
What were they building?
Residential – *40.5
Hotel – 10
Office – *5.5
Medical – 3
There was one Church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Meetinghouse) one School (DePaul School of Music) and one Commercial building (The Apple Store)
* One crane built Hubbard 221 (residential) and 412 North Wells (office) hence the half-crane in those two categories. The two tower cranes at Vista Tower are building residences and a hotel, so one crane goes to each of those two categories.
And now, photographs of all our 2017 Chicago Tower Cranes:
Yes, there are a few on the way. These have tower crane permits:
410 South Wabash is done with foundation work. 1000M will hopefully be back in business soon. 164 North Peoria is still in caisson mode. ALLY at Lincoln Yards hasn’t broken ground quite yet, but site work has started, at it got a foundation permit last week. 1306 East 61st Street – The University of Chicago doesn’t have any other permits yet. 178 West Randolph and 320 South Clinton? I’m not holding my breath.
No permit, but . . .
UIC had a tower crane at the UI Health Outpatient Surgery Center & Specialty Clinics crane is being dismantled this week. UIC may need a crane at 700 West Taylor for its Computer Design Research and Learning Center. But there won’t be a city permit for it, should there be one, because this is being built under the State of Illinois’ authority. 513 South Damen just got a foundation permit for 21 stories.
There are only a couple floors of curtain wall left to install on the east tower, but we still have one tower crane to savor here, so let’s make the best of the rest of our time together. (Cue dramatic music)
Now THIS is how you brand your building during construction.
Stellar signage atop Gild leaves no doubt as to what’s being built as you look up Rush Street to State.
I’m not quite sure what constitutes the second floor here, but that may very well be the underside of the 12th floor Power Construction is working on. That would darn near top out this 12-story apartment development.
After site prep work at 410 South Wabash to dig out under Van Buren Street, crews were pumping concrete into a new wall under the sidewalk Monday. There wasn’t a whole lot to see from the street, but I still spent far too much time watching.
Come at me if you want to, but there’s a new brand of NIMBYism out there these days: Instead of just complaining about a building blocking the view from your living room, you now get to complain about a new building blocking your view of something else, but not when you’re at home. No, this pertains to being out and about throughout the city. Or from that one particular spot you like to stand. This is next-level stuff.
Such seems to be the case with 300 North Michigan. Folks are upset that it will block the view of the Carbon and Carbide Building across the street. How about that. The rules are now such that you can’t build anything anywhere that will obstruct the view of anything anywhere. Looks like our next skyscraper will have to be built in DeKalb. (But I can’t see my corn field from the water tower now!)
Anyway, this is what 300 North Michigan looked like Monday, July 26. Using the markings on the skip, it looks like Linn-Mathes has reached the 40th floor, with the elevator core a couple stories higher, on their way to their ultimate 47-story height:
Like the photos? Appreciate the attitude/snark? No? Still, you can help offset expenses with a much-appreciated donation to Building Up Chicago.
It may also come in handy for Chicago’s tower crane counters. Since this is UIC’s project, it’s under the authority of the State of Illinois, not the City of Chicago. So permits won’t show up on the City Building Permits site I check every Tuesday thru Saturday once the coffee has kicked in. But I’m not gonna let this one get by me, like the UI Health tower crane did. And like the Harrison Hall crane would have if it hadn’t been bright yellow and right up against the Eisenhower Expressway. I have questions out all over town asking if this project will require a tower crane. Answers soon, I hope.
LMN Architects and Booth Hansen handled the architecture on the UIC CDRLC. W.E. O’Neil would appear to be the general contractor, based on their LinkedIn post about the groundbreaking. It’s the only reason I know about this development. So a shout-out to them for the heads-up.
Lots of fantastic renderings from the groundbreaking announcement linked above: