The 14 Best Things To Happen To Building Up Chicago In 2016

It was a monumental year for Chicago construction. And this blog was around to watch 7/12 of it. So here, in no particular order, are the 14 Best Things This Blog Saw in 2016:

St. Boniface Church Is Saved

When demolition is involved, nothing stirs our collective emotions like losing a church. St. Boniface Church in Noble Square got a demo permit, but was spared from the wrecking ball at the 11th hour.

St. Boniface Church

St. Boniface Church will be redeveloped instead of being demolished.

625 West Adams puts a tower crane right outside the window

625 West Adams was the subject of this blog’s very first post. I was rewarded with a tower crane right outside the living room window. And as an added bonus, the fine folks at Power Construction invited me down for a walking tour of foundation work.

625 West Adams tower crane

625 West Adams puts up a tower crane, right outside Building Up Chicago HQ.

151 North Franklin puts a tower crane over the sidewalk

After completely misunderstanding the type of crane to be utilized at 151 North Franklin in The Loop, they erected one anchored by the coolest of iron supports, hovering above the Franklin Street sidewalk.

151 North Franklin tower crane

151 North Franklin floated a tower crane above the sidewalk.

The Apple Store puts up a crane three stories high

When building a two-story structure, one of which will be underground, you don’t need much height from your tower crane. Take a walk past the new Apple Store at 401 North Michigan Avenue, and you can just about high-five the crane operator.

Apple Store tower crane

The tower crane at the new Apple Store soars three floors above Michigan Avenue.

Simpson-Querrey Biomedical Research Center puts up 2 tower cranes

As long as the city permits, anyone can have a tower crane. But few can match the Simpson-Querrey Center. There are *two* tower cranes hard at work on the Northwestern University facility.

Simpson-Querrey tower cranes

Dual tower cranes at the Simpson-Querrey Center.

Onni Group lights up their tower crane at Atrium Village

Just as they did at The Hudson for Christmas 2015, the Onni Group decked out their tower crane at Atrium Village in Tron-like lighting.

Atrium Village Christmas crane

The Atrium Village Christmas crane, by Onni Group.

The amazing outdoor ceiling at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

By all means, drive carefully at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab! But also make sure to look up at the wonderfully colorful ceiling above the entryway.

Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

Look up at the ceiling of the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.

215 West Lake/Level Apts/Linea surrounds itself with 3 parking garages

Ironically, a parking garage was demolished to make room for (what’s now called) Linea. There are still parking garages remaining on three sides of the construction site, allowing for lots of different viewing angles.


One overhead angle of Linea, at 215 West Lake Street in The Loop.

River Point opens

Honestly, it deserved more fanfare. But River Point opened in November, including River Point Plaza, the acre-and-a-half park overlooking the Chicago River.

River Point Plaza

River Point Plaza at night.

River Point

River Point, straight up.

One Bennett Park begins construction

Some people think One Bennett Park looks like something New York City would build. I’m one of them. And I say that in a good way. This will be a fun one to watch. (Of course, they’re all fun.)

One Bennett Park

Early construction at One Bennett Park.

Vista Theater begins

You know those surgical theaters hospitals have for teaching? (Think Seinfeld and Junior Mints.) Then you understand work happening at Vista Tower along Wacker Drive. With elevated observation areas all around, it’s a great place to kill a few hours, watching caissons disappear into the earth.

Vista Tower

Caisson workers at Vista Tower.

St. John Cantius Church is open for OHC20

As part of Open House Chicago 2016, St. John Cantius Church opens its doors to the public. And for good reason. It is simply spectacular inside.

St. John Cantius Church

The spectacular sanctuary of St. John Cantius Church.

Visiting New York City’s mind-boggling skyscraper craze

They’re building ’em big in New York City. And they’re building a lot of them. I got to see a few during a quick visit in October.

New York City

New York City skyscrapers under construction.


A hotel. An office building. A WORLD SERIES CHAMPION! Forget the rebuilding years. The Chicago Cubs are in a Construction Renaissance.


CUBS WIN! And build. But mostly, CUBS WIN!







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