Twelve01West lights up the West Loop sky

Twelve01West glowing tower crane

More of this, Chicago!

Dear McCaffery Interests:

I can not thank you enough for the Glowing Tower Crane at Twelve01West.

That is all.

Love, Chicago & I

cc: Central Contractors Service



Twelve01West wins The Great March Tower Crane Race

Twelve01West Tower Crane

In the distance, a tower crane rises at Twelve01West.

Maybe it wasn’t so great after all, if it’s already decided this early in the month.

Last week I speculated that March’s first tower crane would be erected at GEMS World Academy Upper School, since there had just been a stub planted on the Lakeshore East site. Little did I know that a stub had earlier been planted on the Twelve01West site at 1201 West Lake Street in the West Loop. Over the weekend, Central Contractors Service was over there assembling the tower crane. By my count, that would be Chicago’s 35th tower crane of 2018, and the fourth crane currently in the air for W.E. O’Neil 

Act II at Atrium Village is in full caisson mode

Atrium Village Phase Two caissons

Case Foundation is at work in Near North, drilling caissons for Atrium Village Phase Two.

The tower crane is gone from Old Town Park in the Near North neighborhood, but it will be replaced on the same block very soon. Onni Group is doing foundation work on the next phase of the Atrium Village redo, with Case Foundation on site drilling caissons at this very moment.

There isn’t much I can tell you about Phase Two besides what we find in the building permit, which the City of Chicago issued for 202 West Hill Street back on December 8, 2017. That permit calls for a Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture-designed 39-story tower, including a 6-level parking podium, with 428 apartments. Onni Group will act once again as their own builder. Someday soon, this tower is likely to get a fancy new name. We hope.

GEMS foundation work includes a tower crane pad

GEMS World Academy Upper School

Sparks fly as the tower crane pad is readied at the GEMS World Academy Upper School.

Caisson work at GEMS World Academy Upper School in Lakeshore East started and finished in the fall. Then, we all settled in for winter. But now that the ground is thawing, Power Construction is back to work on the bKL Architects-designed school.

Will this be the next tower crane erected in March? It sure looks like that pad is just about ready for a stub. That would get Chicago back into the 30s, as long as the crane is fully assembled before any of the topped-out projects bring theirs down. No pressure, Power! (But don’t take 900 West or 465 North Park down too soon…)

Chicago springs into March with 29 tower cranes in the air

It’s time to catch up with the Chicago Tower Crane Survey after a brief hiatus.

We’ve got 29 of them flying throughout Chicago. Here’s the breakdown:

New since the January Survey:

  1. Hayden West Loop (1109 West Washington)
  2. Wolf Point East (343 Wolf Point Plaza)
  3. 61 East Banks
  4. University of Illinois at Chicago Academic/Residential Complex

Gone since the January Survey:

  1. Simpson Querrey Biomedical Research Center North Crane (303 East Superior)
  2. aLoft Chicago Mag Mile (24 East Ontario)
  3. Ancora at Riverline (720 South Wells)
  4. No. 508 (508 West Diversey)
  5. No. 9 Walton (9 West Walton)

Coming soon:

  1. 1980 North Milwaukee (Permitted February 21; this will be a self-erecting tower crane)
  2. 180 North Ada (Permitted February 9)
  3. GEMS Upper School (3535 East Wacker; permitted January 26)
  4. 1201 West Lake (Permitted January 16)
  5. 360 West Erie (Permitted January 16)
  6. University of Chicago (1201 East 60th; permitted January 11)

Permitted but dead?

  1. The Bentham (146 West Erie; permitted September 2017, but is this project still going to happen?)

Where are they?

  1. West Loop – 7
  2. South Loop – 5
  3. Streeterville – 3
  4. Lincoln Park – 3
  5. River North – 3
  6. Lakeshore East – 2
  7. Lake View – 2
  8. 4 neighborhoods have one each – Uptown (Eight Eleven Uptown); Gold Coast (61 East Banks); Wicker Park (Wicker Park Connection); University Village (UIC)

Who has them?

  1. Lendlease – 6
  2. McHugh – 5
  3. Power – 5
  4. W.E. O’Neil – 3
  5. Leopardo – 2
  6. Walsh – 2
  7. 6 GCs have one crane apiece – DLG (3833 North Broadway); Linn-Mathes (Wicker Park Connection); M.A. Mortenson (Home2 Suites River North); Centaur (Nobu Hotel); Macon (Hayden West Loop); Pepper (UIC)

What are they building?

  1. Residential – 21
  2. Hotel – 5
  3. Office – 2
  4. Education – 1 (UIC)

61 East Banks putting its tower crane to good use

One of the new 2018-model tower cranes in Chicago is doing work out at 61 East Banks in the Gold Coast Neighborhood. Which is impressive, considering that the operator of that machine has to be seriously distracted by the views of Lake Michigan, what with the prime location along Lake Shore Drive and all. No matter though. Focus. That’s how structures go vertical.

Draper & Kramer is building this 8-story, 60-unit apartment building, designed by Booth Hansen. This is the second tower crane in Chicago for Leopardo Companies, which also has one in the West Loop at their future HQ, 210 North Carpenter.

This time around, it’s a sunny South Loop

Last week, we posted several updates on construction progress in the South Loop. Sadly for us and our cameras, we picked a foggy, miserable day to be out and about. Well, Tuesday was no such day. And with bright sunshine beaming all morning and afternoon, we headed back down to the South Loop for brighter, happier photos of the goings-on.


The Paragon Chicago

Essex on the Park

One Grant Park


Hilton Homewood Suites/Hilton Garden Inn