About danieldschell

I'm Daniel Schell, Chicagoan, Twitter fiend, and picture taker. I like sunsets, travel, and long walks through construction sites. If you build it, I will come.

A Salesforce Tower overview (mostly)

This past weekend, Open House Chicago gave the public access to the 55th floor of 110 North Wacker. That’s a vantage point most of us rarely see without ponying up the dough to visit an observation deck.

Very few of you will be surprised to learn I took advantage of that vantage by snapping a ton of pics of Salesforce Tower. (I took a few from the ground too.) Hey you go.

A Chicago Tower Crane Survey from 110 North Wacker

110 North Wacker (Bank of America Tower to some of you) is open to the public this weekend for Open House Chicago 2021. The 55th floor is a continuous, wide-open space, and a great vantage point to see Chicago. If you’re like me, and think the Sears Tower is just a tad too high for your modest camera-lens collection, this is the ticket.

I got a good view of our five remaining tower cranes from up here.

And an honorable mention for 300 North Michigan, which is being taken down.

The space:

Chicago has 8 tower cranes on the horizon, but only 5 on the skyline

I don’t usually do a tower crane count mid-month, but dang, only five of them?

Yeah, our tower crane count has dipped to five, with 2050 West Ogden and 300 North Michigan recently (or currently) being taken down.

But take heart, Chicago. We have more on the way soon, with eight having permits and expected to be in the air relatively soon:

  • The Obama Center has a permit for three of them
  • 164 North Peoria has wrapped up caisson work.
  • 1306 E. 61st (U of C) has a permit
  • ALLY Lincoln Yards has a permit
  • 513 South Damen has a permit
  • 4611 North Broadway has a permit

410 South Wabash has completed caissons, but we’re still waiting for a tower crane permit for it.

Don’t forget, 1000M (1000 South Michigan) had a stub in the ground, but the crane was never erected. And 178 West Randolph and 320 South Clinton have permits, but . . . who knows.

Let’s keep an eye on LG Development’s HUGO project at Hudson and Chicago. Maybe one tower crane to build both nine-story buildings?

166 North Aberdeen is in caisson mode. That’s a 20-story tower, and will need a TC for sure.

Here are the five tower cranes we *do* have:


📸 Throwback Thursday: All 62 Chicago Tower Cranes of 2017 🏗

This is a repost from December 2017, when the City of Chicago saw a total of 62 tower cranes in the air. I’m not confident in my ability to get an accurate count for 2021, but my guesstimate is somewhere around 25 so far.

Chicago had 62 tower cranes in 2017

Chicago closes 2017 having had a record 62 tower cranes operating across the skyline throughout the year. Before 2018 takes over, let’s recap them all.

Who had tower cranes in 2017?

  1. Power Construction – 13
  2. Lendlease – 13
  3. McHugh Construction – 11
  4. Linn-Mathes – 4
  5. Walsh Construction – 3
  6. W.E. O’Neil – 3
  7. Clark Construction – 2
  8. 13 companies had one tower crane in 2017: Pepper Construction (Moxy Hotel); Macon Construction (No. 508); Centaur Construction (Nobu Hotel); Onni Group (Old Town Park); Optima (Optima Signature); M.A. Mortenson Company (Home2 Suites River North); Norcon (Illume Chicago); Bulley-Andrews (DePaul School of Music); Clayco (Cook County Central Campus Health Center); Novak Construction (171 Aberdeen); Leopardo Companies (210 North Carpenter); Tishman (aLoft Chicago Mag Mile); DLG  (3833 North Broadway)

Where were they?

  1. West Loop – 13
  2. South Loop – 11
  3. River North – 9
  4. Streeterville – 8
  5. Lincoln Park – 5
  6. Lake View – 4
  7. Near North – 2
  8. Gold Coast – 2
  9. Lakeshore East – 2
  10. Six neighborhoods had one crane each in 2017 – The Loop (151 North Franklin); Illinois Medical District (Cook County Central Campus Health Center); Uptown (Eight Eleven Uptown); Hyde Park (Solstice on the Park); River West (Spoke); Wicker Park (Wicker Park Connection)

What were they building?

  1. Residential – *40.5
  2. Hotel – 10
  3. Office – *5.5
  4. Medical – 3
  5. There was one Church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Meetinghouse) one School (DePaul School of Music) and one Commercial building (The Apple Store)

* One crane built Hubbard 221 (residential) and 412 North Wells (office) hence the half-crane in those two categories. The two tower cranes at Vista Tower are building residences and a hotel, so one crane goes to each of those two categories.

And now, photographs of all our 2017 Chicago Tower Cranes:

Three tower cranes permitted for Obama Presidential Center

The tower crane x3 permit.

Chicago construction, and the enthusiasts who enthuse it, needed this bit of news.

Saturday, the City of Chicago issued a permit to drill caissons for three tower cranes in Jackson Park at the Obama Presidential Center.

With only seven in the air now, three on one site, not only a rare feat in Chicago, would give us a nice jolt in the crane count.

Turner Construction is the general contractor on the Obama Center. W.E. O’Neil is the concrete contractor. Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects — Partners is the design architect.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on the site September 28.

I’m almost sorry I counted, as Chicago dips to just seven tower cranes in the air

Fine, that seems a little dramatic. But seven tower cranes ain’t a lot of tower cranes. (And one of them isn’t even in operation yet.) The Chicago Seven are:

  1. Salesforce Tower (333 West Wolf Point Plaza.) Walsh Construction is the general contractor. Hines is the developer. Pelli Clarke Pelli is the design architect.
Salesforce Tower

2. 300 North Michigan. Linn-Mathes is the general contractor. Sterling Bay and Magellan Development are the co-developers. bKL Architecture is the design architect.

300 North Michigan

3. Plumbers Local 130 Parking Garage (1371 West Randolph.) W.E. O’Neil is the general contractor. Plumbers Local 130 is the developer. OKW Architects is the design architect.

1371 W Randolph

4. The Reed at Southbank (234 West Polk.) Lendlease is the general contractor and developer. Perkins + Will is the design architect.

The Reed at Southbank

5. 354 North Union. Onni Group is the general contractor and developer. Pappageorge Haymes Partners is the design architect.

354 North Union

6. Gateway Apartments (2050 West Ogden.) Global Builders is the general contractor. Piekarz Associates is the design architect.

Gateway Apartments

7. 345 North Morgan is being assembled as you read this, so I’m counting it. Skender is the general contractor. Sterling Bay is the developer. Eckenhoff Saunders Architects is the design architect.

345 North Morgan

Yes, there are a few on the way. These have tower crane permits:

410 South Wabash is done with foundation work.
1000M will hopefully be back in business soon.
164 North Peoria is still in caisson mode.
ALLY at Lincoln Yards hasn’t broken ground quite yet, but site work has started, at it got a foundation permit last week.
1306 East 61st Street – The University of Chicago doesn’t have any other permits yet.
178 West Randolph and 320 South Clinton? I’m not holding my breath.

No permit, but . . .

UIC had a tower crane at the UI Health Outpatient Surgery Center & Specialty Clinics crane is being dismantled this week. UIC may need a crane at 700 West Taylor for its Computer Design Research and Learning Center. But there won’t be a city permit for it, should there be one, because this is being built under the State of Illinois’ authority.
513 South Damen just got a foundation permit for 21 stories.

Did I miss any? Let me know.

They grow up so fast, One Chicago Edition

I remember you when you were little.

It doesn’t seem that long ago, when the parking lot across State Street from Holy Name Cathedral was being torn up, and foundation digging began.

Now, One Chicago is almost to that point where, if you want to see what’s happening with construction, you have to go inside.

Once again, this is your One Chicago team: JDL Development, with a hand from Wanxiang America, is the developer. Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture and Goettsch Partners shared design duties. And Power Construction is the general contractor.

There are only a couple floors of curtain wall left to install on the east tower, but we still have one tower crane to savor here, so let’s make the best of the rest of our time together. (Cue dramatic music)

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There’s no mistaking Gild Chicago

Now THIS is how you brand your building during construction.

Stellar signage atop Gild leaves no doubt as to what’s being built as you look up Rush Street to State.

I’m not quite sure what constitutes the second floor here, but that may very well be the underside of the 12th floor Power Construction is working on. That would darn near top out this 12-story apartment development.

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Quick Look: 410 South Wabash

After site prep work at 410 South Wabash to dig out under Van Buren Street, crews were pumping concrete into a new wall under the sidewalk Monday. There wasn’t a whole lot to see from the street, but I still spent far too much time watching.

300 North Michigan continues to rise, continues to block views of other things. Just like every other building does everywhere

Skip floor markings are visible to 36. My math says the additional 4 floors puts 300 North Michigan at the 40th floor.

Come at me if you want to, but there’s a new brand of NIMBYism out there these days: Instead of just complaining about a building blocking the view from your living room, you now get to complain about a new building blocking your view of something else, but not when you’re at home. No, this pertains to being out and about throughout the city. Or from that one particular spot you like to stand. This is next-level stuff.

Such seems to be the case with 300 North Michigan. Folks are upset that it will block the view of the Carbon and Carbide Building across the street. How about that. The rules are now such that you can’t build anything anywhere that will obstruct the view of anything anywhere. Looks like our next skyscraper will have to be built in DeKalb. (But I can’t see my corn field from the water tower now!)

Anyway, this is what 300 North Michigan looked like Monday, July 26. Using the markings on the skip, it looks like Linn-Mathes has reached the 40th floor, with the elevator core a couple stories higher, on their way to their ultimate 47-story height:

Like the photos? Appreciate the attitude/snark? No? Still, you can help offset expenses with a much-appreciated donation to Building Up Chicago.

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