Even if The Blog never returns, I’ll live in infamy on Google Maps

Google Maps Hoxton State and Green

Google Maps image at State and Green Streets in the West Loop.

It was Tower Crane Assembly Day at the Hoxton Chicago Hotel in the West Loop. After watching for awhile, I headed elsewhere around town, as I normally did on a busy walking day. I saw the Google car drive by and waved. I’ve been waiting for the map update ever since. And here it is. Famous.

Twitter introduces Chicago’s two newest tower cranes

Chicago started 2018 with 30 tower cranes in the air. Now, that number of 2018 cranes has risen to 32.

Recent tweets from Twitter users @WestLoopTom and @TheBigGreenW introduced me to the two latest cranes, at Hayden West Loop and Wolf Point East, respectively. For Walsh Construction, WPE marks their second currently operating crane in Chicago, along with 1326 South Michigan. Also celebrating their second crane is Macon Construction over at Hayden.

You can see the tweeted photos of the pretty yellow Liebherr cranes below:

SWM seeks *furnished* bedroom for rent

Sorry to turn The Blog into a bulletin board, friends, but these are desperate times. And who knows, maybe someday there will actually be construction photos in this space again.

I need a bedroom to rent. My job is in Ravenswood, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be on the North Side. As long as I can access the L with relative ease and connect to the Brown Line, I’m good. Please let me know if you or anyone you know has some extra space at home. I’m a quiet, pet-free non-smoker.

Thank you.

I need your help

A gut-wrenching life event led me to shut down this blog last week. Twitter accounts were deleted, a job was resigned, and I made the decision to leave Chicago.

Here’s the thing: after a few days of clear-thinking, I know I don’t want to leave Chicago. I still have one thing going for me here, and that’s my part-time job. It allowed me time support my hobby; wandering the city taking photos and sharing them on Building Up Chicago. Now, that part-time job isn’t enough.

Many of you reached out last week to let me know the blog would be missed, and that touched my heart. Some of you asked if there was anything you could do to help keep the blog alive. Maybe there is.

Some of you work in the construction, architecture, or development industries. Note: I am not asking for a job. What I’m asking are your thoughts on the need within your industries for photographers. Someone to go out to job sites, capture images of progress, and report back so that those who unable to be in the field can monitor that progress with their own eyes. (This is an example of ideas I have. The floor is open for other ways you’re aware of as to how companies could use my interest in Chicago’s built environment for their businesses.)

Friends, I need help. I have realized the hobby that became Building Up Chicago is what I would like to do professionally, but I need your help determining how, and even *if*, that’s a realistic goal.

Thank you for reading, always. I hope to hear from you soon.


🏗 Chicago rings in 2018 with 30 tower cranes on the skyline 🏗

Belmont Village

W.E. O’Neil’s tower crane at Belmont Village (700 West Fullerton) was the 62nd and final crane erected in Chicago in 2017.

Chicago had 62 tower cranes in the air during 2017. 2018 starts out with 30 of them. Sure, there are a bunch of jobs in the pipeline that will require a crane, but erecting 32 more of them to tie our record seems unlikely. But we can hope, right? Records are made to be broken, after all.

Let’s take a look at our initial 30 for 2018:

New since December 2017 count:

  1. Belmont Village (700 West Fullerton)

Gone since December 2017:

  1. Moxy Hotel
  2. Old Town Park
  3. Illume Chicago

Coming soon:

  1. Hayden West Loop (1109 West Washington – permit issued 09/07; stub planted)
  2. Wolf Point East (343 West Wolf Point Plaza – permit issued 11/20)

    Hayden West Loop stub

    Hayden West Loop, likely to be the first tower crane erected in 2018.

Who has tower cranes?

  1. Lendlease – 8
  2. Power Construction – 6
  3. McHugh Construction – 5
  4. W.E. O’Neil – 3
  5. 8 companies have one tower crane apiece: Walsh (1326 South Michigan); Centaur (Nobu Hotel); Leopardo (210 North Carpenter); Tishman (aLoft Chicago Mag Mile); Linn-Mathes – Wicker Park Connection); Macon Construction (No. 508); DLG Development (3833 North Broadway); M.A. Mortenson (Home2 Suites River North)

Where are they?

  1. West Loop – 6
  2. South Loop – 6
  3. Streeterville – 5
  4. Lake View – 3
  5. Lincoln Park – 3
  6. Lakeshore East – 2
  7. River North – 2
  8. Three neighborhoods have one tower crane each: Gold Coast (No. 9 Walton); Wicker Park (Wicker Park Connection; Uptown (Eight Eleven Uptown)

What are they building?

  1. Residential – 22
  2. Hotel – 6
  3. Medical – 1 (Simpson Querrey)
  4. Office – 1 (210 North Carpenter)


No tower crane? No worries for Hayden West Loop

Hayden West Loop

The Hayden West Loop tower-crane stub stands amidst erected steel, waiting for the rest of its parts to arrive.

Unless that’s a Magic Tower Crane Stub planted at 1109 West Washington, Hayden West Loop is erecting an impressive amount of steel on the site at Aberdeen and Washington without the use of a tower crane. That should change very soon, as the tower crane, permitted way back on September 7, should be erected within the first few days of the new year. Hayden West Loop will be Macon Construction’s second tower crane in Chicago, joining No. 508 at 508 West Diversey.

There won’t be much competition to be first in 2018; the only other permits outstanding are for Wolf Point East, which has a bit of digging left to do and hasn’t planted a stub yet, and The Bentham in River North, which has gone eerily silent.