Progress Update: 633 South LaSalle

The 633 South LaSalle construction crane towers over the South Loop.

Some progress photos at 633 South LaSalle, as Clark Construction and Adjustable Concrete Construction continue work on the Berkelhamer-designed 18-story, 117-unit student-living tower in the South Loop.

It’s on! Chicago Architecture Center announces expanded Open House programming for Open House Chicago 2023

Today, the Chicago Architecture Center released an announcement about expanded programming for Open House Chicago 2023. Included in the information are details about the 170 locations open during Open House weekend, October 14th and 15th.

Here is the entire text of CAC’s email:


The Annual Public Festival, Which Provides Access to Culturally, Architecturally and Historically Significant Sites Throughout the City, Will Now Include Opening Parties on Friday

CHICAGO — The Chicago Architecture Center (CAC) today announced programming for this year’s Open House Chicago (OHC), a free festival that provides behind-the-scenes access to some of the city’s most historically, culturally and architecturally important sites. The 2023 event, which will take place October 13-15, will feature 170+  locations across 20+ Chicago neighborhoods. Additionally, for the first time, the CAC will host two Friday events, including one exclusively for CAC members. 

OHC, now in its 13th year, is an architecture and design festival that allows Chicagoans and tourists alike to visit important sites across the city, many of which are normally closed to the public. The event will begin Friday, October 13, with a kickoff party at the CAC, where visitors can experience the Center’s exhibits for free and purchase official OHC merchandise. CAC members will also be invited to an opening night party on the 33rd floor of the Willis Tower. The event will feature light bites and a performance of an original piece of music inspired by the Willis Tower and commissioned by CAC. 

The rest of the weekend will feature self-guided tours across the city’s diverse neighborhoods, allowing OHC participants to experience Chicago’s deep architectural history firsthand. This year’s program will enable visitors to tour the childhood home of Walt Disney in Hermosa and the National Cambodian Heritage Museum in Ravenswood. Also new to OHC this year is Uptown’s historic Riviera Theater, an ornate concert venue originally built in 1917 as a movie theater. 

“Open House Chicago makes architecture and design accessible and is a free program for all,” said Eleanor Gorski, CEO & President, Chicago Architecture Center. “The event is a true community venture, and we’re thrilled to collaborate with chambers of commerce, neighborhood organizations, arts and culture organizations and historical societies across the city to bring the festival to life.” 

In addition to the tours, Open House Chicago sites will also host programming and activations during the weekend. This year, CAC has enhanced the festival experience by launching a new app that provides information on programming and allows attendees to create their own itineraries of OHC sites.  

With the support of presenting sponsor Wintrust, OHC enthusiasts will also have the chance to win an annual CAC membership and official Open House Chicago merchandise, a prize package worth more than $250,  through a social media contest ahead of the event. Interested participants can enter by tagging a friend on Instagram posts from @chiarchitecture and @wintrust.. 

For more information, visit

About the Chicago Architecture Center 

The Chicago Architecture Center (CAC) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1966, dedicated to inspiring people to discover why design matters. A national leader in architecture and design education, the CAC offers tours, programs, exhibitions, and more that are part of a dynamic journey of lifelong learning. 

Opened to the public in 2018, its riverfront location is in the heart of the city, where Michigan Avenue meets the Chicago River, featuring nearly 10,000 square feet of exhibition space with views of a century of iconic skyscrapers. 

Through partnerships with schools and youth-serving organizations, the CAC reaches approximately 5,000 K-12 students annually, while teacher workshops provide educators with tools and resources they need to advance STEM curricula in their classrooms. Committed to serving under-represented communities in construction, engineering, and design professions, the CAC offers many of its education programs—and all its programs for teens—at no cost to participants. CAC programs for adults and members include talks with acclaimed authors and practicing architects, in-depth presentations on issues and trends in urbanism, and classes unlocking subjects related to the built environment. 

Proceeds from programs, tours, and the CAC Design Store, as well as from grants, sponsorships, and donations, support its educational mission. Visit to learn more and follow @chiarchitecture and #chiarchitecture on social media.

1237 West Division, Chicago’s first multi-story logistics center, putting its two tower cranes to good use

That’s 1237 West Division off in the distance.

We celebrate tower cranes here at the B.U.C. HQ. And we celebrate twice as much when there are two of them to enjoy.

Elston & Cortez, February 2023, just after the first tower crane was erected.

1237 West Division is a two-story double-height logistics center, with separate car-parking structure, in Chicago’s West Town community area. At least, it will be. Construction has been ramped up (heh) for months now, with The Big Green W at the helm. Logistics Property Company is the developer. The links above have all the deets and specs you could ever want, and then some.

This one is best viewed from a passing Metra train or helicopter. Since it’s not very tall, it’s tough to see from a distance. Although Halsted just north of Chicago Ave offers some cool glimpses.

Not only did I get to add a new category for 1237 West Division — “Logistics” — but I also got to take more photos of a warehouse than ever before. And here that are:

Coppia (1101 W Van Buren) has topped out along the Eisenhower Expressway

1000M, for the final construction visit?

1000M stand tall above Grant Park.

The days of watching construction at 1000M are drawing to a close. Just a handful of the top levels remain unglazed. Soon the tower crane will come down and this will look like a finished product while crews work on the interior.

1000M gave us the rare thrill of watching a skyscraper begin twice. First when caisson work got underway, and then again, after a pandemic-induced delay left the site dormant for months and months. The tower crane base that had been planted was removed, it went from condos to apartments, the design was tweaked, and it roared back to life early in 2022.

It’s always weirdly sad to me when a building wraps up construction and there’s nothing to watch anymore, but this one legit tugs at the heartstrings, knowing Helmut Jahn isn’t here to enjoy its completion.

1000M should be open to residents in 2024. And please, if you get one of these apartments, invite me over. I’ll even help you move in, if that’s what it takes.

Riu Plaza Hotel shoots up from Streeterville

Riu Plaza Hotel, 150 East Ontario in Streeterville.

And now, for another Streeterville high-rise in a tight lot, the Riu Plaza Hotel. The 28-story, 390-key hotel looks to have reached the 23rd or 24th level. That’s W.E. O’Neil putting in the work as the GC. The hotel is a design by Lucien LaGrange Studio. The Prime Group is the developer. Opening is slated for late 2024.

Photos from this week, and late March

The Saint Grand is topped out and glassing up the Streeterville neighborhood

The Saint Grand, at 218 West Grand in Streeterville.

The Saint Grand is an apartment tower replacing that eyesore of a parking deck that used to occupy the corner of St. Clair St. and Grand Ave. in Streeterville. But you wouldn’t know that from this blog, because I’ve been neglecting this construction site. It’s in a tight spot, so it can be a challenge to get compelling shots of progress.

The Saint Grand is a Mavrek Development joint. The 21-story tower will deliver 248 rental apartment, plus 42,000 square feet of office space, 8,000 square feet of retail space, and parking for 100 cars. I guess that’s fair, since it’s replacing a parking garage. NORR is the design architect; Lendlease is on the build, with Goebel Forming on concrete. They’ve topped out, per Urbanize.

The photos are up next. First, from August 21. Then a few from earlier progress back in March:

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Hyde Park Labs (Harper Court Phase II) has gone 3-D in Hyde Park

Post-demolition, pre-construction for Hyde Park Labs at 5201 South Harper, 3/1/2023.

Made my first visit to Hyde Park Labs (at that link, click on “View Brochure” for everything you’ll ever want to know about Hyde Park Labs) at 5201 South Harper since this was still a fenced-off dirt lot waiting to get started. Well, not only has it started, but the crane’s in the air and the core has risen to — let’s call it the fifth floor. They’re going up to 13.

Let’s see if I have all the players correct on this project, the 2nd phase of Harper Court:

Trammell Crow Company and Beacon Capital Partners are the developers.
Elkus Manfredi Architects is the design architect.
Power Construction is the general contractor, with an assist from UJAMAA
Adjustable Concrete Construction is the concrete contractor.

Now, how ’bout some permit dates:

Demo of the single-story building previously on this site, issued 1/17/2023
Tower crane, issued 2/22/2023
“Selective” demo for existing building & parking garage, issued 4/6/2023
Caissons, issued 5/9/2023
Full build, issued 6/15/2023

And finally, some photos of progress, taken August 21:

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4600 North Marine moves ever closer to exterior completion

4600 North Marine is topped out in Uptown

Don’t get me wrong; I know there’s still a good deal of work yet to be done to the exterior of 4600 North Marine in Uptown. But the bricks are on, the windows are in, and the crane is down. But as you’ll see, Gilbane is nearing the home stretch.

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