UIC provides hope for another Chicago tower crane

Does this humble parking lot hold the key to Chicago’s next tower crane?

That humble parking lot is at 900 West Taylor Street in University Village. The University of Illinois at Chicago broke ground here July 15 on its 135,000-square-foot Computer Design Research and Learning Center. That’s big news for the school, its students, and the faculty.

It may also come in handy for Chicago’s tower crane counters. Since this is UIC’s project, it’s under the authority of the State of Illinois, not the City of Chicago. So permits won’t show up on the City Building Permits site I check every Tuesday thru Saturday once the coffee has kicked in. But I’m not gonna let this one get by me, like the UI Health tower crane did. And like the Harrison Hall crane would have if it hadn’t been bright yellow and right up against the Eisenhower Expressway. I have questions out all over town asking if this project will require a tower crane. Answers soon, I hope.

LMN Architects and Booth Hansen handled the architecture on the UIC CDRLC. W.E. O’Neil would appear to be the general contractor, based on their LinkedIn post about the groundbreaking. It’s the only reason I know about this development. So a shout-out to them for the heads-up.

Lots of fantastic renderings from the groundbreaking announcement linked above:

W.E. O’Neil raises the tower crane at 1371 West Randolph

Chicago made it back to double digits Thursday, as W.E. O’Neil finished erecting the city’s 10th active tower crane at 1371 West Randolph Street in the West Loop. That crane will build the seven-story parking garage for the Plumbers Local 130, on what used to be a portion of their surface parking lot.

I would once again like to point out that those guys up there, especially out on the jib, are in no danger of losing their jobs to me.

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1200 West Carroll is a blank canvas

Speaking of Carroll Avenue demos . . .

With demolition all but wrapped up, the northwest corner of Carroll and Racine in the West Loop is ready for redevelopment at the hands of Sterling Bay. Here’s our May story about the demolitions, and the new office building on the way, 1200 West Carroll.

Here’s the progression of demolition from late May into July.

Nothing but silos now at ADM

Heneghan Wrecking is getting down to the last of the concrete silos at the former ADM Milling Company at 1300 West Carroll in the West Loop. I wouldn’t say progress has slowed, but I will venture the opinion that large, thick columns of solid concrete aren’t easy to break up. Again, just my opinion.

Here are photos taken Monday, July 19:

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W.E. O’Neil plants a tower crane stub at 1371 West Randolph

This week-old stub at 1371 West Randolph will build a parking garage.

As one Randolph Street tower crane goes, so comes another.

The Plumbers Union 130 parking garage has a tower crane stub in the ground as of last Monday, according to the kind folks on site from W.E. O’Neil. The rest of the crane should be up by the end of this week, allowing Chicago to crawl back into double digits.

Not sure why double digits is such a big deal to me, other than indicating some sort of threshold for where we “should” or “shouldn’t” be, tower-cranewise. It means nothing substantial, really. However, I scored in double digits exactly once in my high school basketball career, and that IS important.

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As demolition continues, foundation work begins at Ravenswood and Lawrence

RaveLaw is cooking now.

Most of the demolition work at Ravenswood and Lawrence is done, save for the gaping hole and (what appears to be) 45-foot-thick concrete at the northwest corner of the site. So while Precision Excavation keeps hammering away at that, William A. Randolph has started doing foundation work towards the southeast corner of the property.

They’re working on the two buildings of RaveLaw for Harlem Irving Companies that will ultimately deliver about 170 luxury apartments, wrapped around the newly built Chase Bank, and right next door to the Ravenswood Metra station.

Progress Update: The Outpatient Surgery Center and Specialty Clinics at UI Health

UI Health’s Outpatient Surgery Center and Specialty Clinics

The tower crane at 1009 S. Wood St. in the Medical District has finished lifting steel on the 200,000-suare-foot Outpatient Surgery Center and Specialty Clinics for UI Health. You can tell by the ceremonial Christmas tree that’s been placed atop the final steel beam.

That tower crane will still be around for awhile. Though all the steel is in place, the cladding panels for the building will all be lifted into place by said tower crane; it should stick around for another 2-3 months.

Shive-Hattery Architecture & Engineering and ZGF Architects are both involved in this design, while Pepper Construction is the general contractor.

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There’s steel making progress at CA6

Sorry, that should read “They’re still making progress at CA6.” Pardon my typing.

Anyway, I snapped a couple shots Monday as work continues on this eight-story, 72-unit condo building from Belgravia Group.

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Stuff That’s Done (In Milwaukee): The Milwaukee Bucks’ new home, Fiserv Forum

Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee

Look, I’m not posting this now in the hopes of scoring free Playoff tickets. Honest, I’m not. That I hadn’t been in Milwaukee in four years is purely coincidental. But anyway, good job by the Bucks in Game 3 after looking like they might be future venison steaks on the roof rack of a station wagon after that Game 2 horror.

Fiserv Forum was called the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center when I last stopped by, in July 2017.

Fiserv Forum is a design by Populous, the Kansas City-based architecture firm known in Chicago for its work on Guaranteed Rate Field and the United Center. They were assisted in the design work by Eppstein Uhen Architects and HNTB Corporation. The M.A. Mortenson Company was the general contractor.

The Forum opened in August 2018. It’s predecessor, the Bradley Center, was demolished soon after. That site remains empty now, but I doubt it’ll remain that way for long.

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Caisson work has begun at the Plumbers Union 130 parking garage

W.E. O’Neil Construction and Michels Corporation are sending caissons into the West Loop soil for the seven-story parking garage at the Plumbers Local 130 facility. The permit to begin was issued May 14.

Now I know some of you aren’t huge parking garage fans, but this one is requiring a tower crane, so there’s a nice trade-off here. (I’m told not to expect said tower crane until July.)

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