🏗 Tower cranes up; tower cranes down. Chicago’s count returns to 32 🏗

The boom giveth; the boom taketh away. After several weeks of activity in Chicago’s tower-crane skyline, what was as many as 35 active tower cranes has settled right back to 32, the same count we had in early May.

New to the list since May’s count:

  1. Aloft Chicago Mag Mile
  2. No. 508 (508 West Diversey)
  3. Marlowe (675 North Wells)
  4. One South Halsted
  5. Cook County Central Campus Health Center (1950 West Polk)

Gone from May’s count:

  1. 171 Aberdeen
  2. 8 East Huron
  3. DePaul School of Music
  4. Hotel Zachary
  5. 3Eleven

Three projects have tower-crane permits:

  1. Nobu
  2. Essex On The Park (stub planted)
  3. 1326 South Michigan (stub on site, not planted yet)

Chicago’s 32 active tower cranes, from south to north (roughly):

Throwback Thursday: London’s One Blackfriars

One Blackfriars London

One Blackfriars rises along the River Thames in London. This photo was taken from the Monument to the Great Fire of London, a great way to see the city.

One month ago we were in London, marveling at architecture old and new. And there’s a whole lot of new on the way. One of those projects is One Blackfriars. Like much of what’s being built right now around London, it is very distinctively shaped, and gorgeous.

One Blackfriars is a development from Berkeley Group. The 50-storey (no stories here; this is London, after all) glass tower will have 274 apartments and 161 hotel rooms along the south bank of the River Thames. The design is by the architecture firm of SimpsonHaugh and Partners. The general contractor (seriously, as I wandered London and saw this name on lots of new construction, I thought each one would include a large movie-theatre complex. Silly tourist.) is Multiplex. Multiplex is not a place to watch films and eat popcorn; Multiplex is a massive global construction company.


West Loop site now a clean slate, awaiting the Hoxton Chicago hotel (and it *just* got a permit!)

Hoxton Chicago hotel

From a green line train, a soil-sampling rig tastes the dirt at the future Hoxton Chicago site.

Hoxton Chicago

Hoxton Chicago render from Ennismore.

Heneghan Wrecking has finished making space at 832 West Lake Street in the West Loop, where Grant Park Packing and Vaia Auto once stood. The bare dirt lot stands ready for the impending arrival of the Hoxton Chicago, a 175-room boutique hotel from London-based developer of the Hoxton brand, Ennismore, with Shapack Partners. Designed by GREC Architects, the Hoxton Chicago needs only a building permit to get started. ** And there it is!**

Hoxton Chicago

The permit was issued Wednesday, June 21.

Hoxton Chicago hotel

The Stalworth Underground caisson rig is getting ready to roll. And drill.

Power Construction will be the general contractor. The arrival of a Stalworth Underground caisson rig gives a strong clue as to who will be performing foundation work. **Thursday morning, and that caisson rig is being set upright, ready for work. It’s show time for the Hoxton Chicago.

5 Things To Do In Chicago

1. Watch tower cranes being erected.

McDonald's tower crane assembly

Crews erect a tower crane at the McDonald’s HQ site.

2. Watch tower cranes being taken down

8 East Huron tower crane removal

Crews take down a tower crane at 8 East Huron.

3. Watch tower crane stubs being planted in the ground

Marlowe tower crane stub

Crews plant a tower crane stub at Marlowe.

4. Watch demolition crews demolish buildings.

Rush demolition

Crews demolish a building at Rush University Medical Center.

5. Pizza and Italian beef


Demolition permit at 4646 North Damen Avenue clearing the way for a new TOD?

4646 North Damen Avenue

As you can see in this photo from the Damen Brown Line platform, 4646 North Damen Avenue is very close to the Damen Brown Line platform.

A demolition permit issued Tuesday by the City of Chicago for the property at 4646 North Damen Avenue in Ravenswood may be the sign of a new Transit Oriented Development.

Chicago Cityscape had the story (with help from Eric Rojas) back in February. Drawings on the 47th Ward website show a 4-story, 9-unit building with ground-level retail space.

If you’re not familiar with the TOD, know that the basic criteria is to be in close proximity to a CTA L or Metra stop. 4646 North Damen is within roughly 30 feet of the Damen Brown Line, so yeah, it qualifies.

4646 North Damen Avenue

4646 North Damen Avenue. I use this station 10 times each week. I’ve been watching for this one. 

4646 North Damen Avenue

The Demo Permit

4646 North Damen Avenue

Alta Roosevelt fills in its final floor

Like a video-game master, Alta Roosevelt has reached the top level at 801 South Financial Place in the South Loop. The above tweet, from June 12, shows concrete crews pouring the last of Alta’s main floors. There will still be steel added on top for the penthouse, but you won’t see concrete trucks moving in and out of the 33-story apartment tower any longer.

Designed for Wood Partners by Pappageorge Haymes Partners, Alta Roosevelt is delivering 496 rental units with 348 parking spaces to the site immediately north of the new British School, between River City and the Metra rail tracks. Walsh Construction has been on the job since site prep began back in march 2016.

Quick Look: The continuation of Byrne Circle – Congress Parkway work

Jane Byrne Interchange

The Jane Byrne Interchange.

Work on the Jane Byrne Interchange continues on the west side of downtown Chicago. Currently, the center lanes of Congress Parkway are a skylight over Clinton, Jefferson, and Desplaines Streets as they’re rebuilt, while supports have been started for the exit ramp that will eventually connect the inbound Dan Ryan to Congress.

And now, random photos: