If being obsessed with a building is a problem, then those of you who know me well (or know me at all, let’s be honest here) know I have a problem.
150 North Riverside is my obsession. And problem. If I ever manage to salvage the thousands of photos on the hard drive I dropped of construction of Goettsch Partners’ Chicago office tower, I’ll post them one at a time and you’ll understand what I mean. But you can see into a few of those portals via blog posts here, here, here, and most recently, here.
It started with the sinking of the Chicago River Barge, quite possibly the most famous demise of a water-going vessel in the history of mankind. And just like that, I became mesmerized by construction. I’d go downtown just to stand on the Randolph Street bridge and see how much progress had been made. When we moved to the West Loop, I’d go out of my way to get to and from the L so I could watch.
Before I was ready to let go, 150 North Riverside was done. And I’ll admit to a tinge of sadness in its construction coming to an end. Not just because there would be no more progress to mark, but because I feared the tower would now become a mystery to me. Sure, the plaza outside is a fantastic space, and open to the public 24/7 for wandering through, or enjoying an al fresco lunch. The lobby even has open hours too. But what reason would I ever have to go inside and see Chicago from this vantage point? Maybe I could find a lawyer with an office there, and threaten to sue someone so I could meet for a consultation.
But then along came my angel. Thanks to Shelby Edwards and the William Blair Company, which started moving its Chicago offices into the tower back in June, I got to go inside this magical building last week. William Blair occupies about a dozen floors in the upper half of the tower. I hung out for awhile on the 46th floor, the main reception area. An amazing space, it offers 360-degree views from a host of meeting rooms, classrooms, and small breakout offices.
And then there’s the art. I respectfully avoided photographing any of the artwork; that usually feels like something you shouldn’t do. But imagine two busts, made of layers hunks of drywall cut from the walls behind the busts. Yeah, it’s as cool as it is hard to describe.
I didn’t spend my entire hour with Shelby taking photos of tower cranes; I captured lots of Chicago views. But those memories are for me. To keep with the theme of this blog, here now are the shots I took to share with you; as many cranes as I could find from the 35th and 46th floors of 150 North Riverside: