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.

Caisson equipment arrives as site prep is underway at 61 East Banks

61 East Banks Gold Coast

Back those caissons right on in here! It’s go time at 61 East Banks.

The 8-story, 61-unit apartment building at 61 East Banks is in site-prep mode, and caisson equipment is starting to pour into the lot. The Booth Hansen design is parking itself on the former surface parking lot at Banks Street and Lake Shore Drive, assuring spectacular Lake Michigan views for some lucky tenants.

According to Booth Hansen, expect two-story townhomes on the first two floors, with one, tow, and three-bedroom apartments on the levels above. A shared amenity terrace will adorn the green roof, and parking will be added below grade.

Draper & Kramer is the developer of 61 East Banks; Leopardo Companies is handling general contractor duties. Expect to see Stalworth Underground out there in the cold starting caisson work very early in 2018.

History demolished and discovered at the J.L. Higgie Building

J.L. Higgie Building demolition

One of the highly-coveted plaques, on the Harrison elevation, of the J.L. Higgie Building.

The J.L. Higgie Building at 1909 West Ogden Avenue in the Illinois Medical District is history, having been demolished over the past couple weeks by Heneghan Wrecking. The triangular building bounded by Ogden, Harrison, and Wolcott, built in the 1880s, was built by Higgie to be the offices of his tugboat company.

But speaking of history, demolition unearthed a treasure of it, as Heneghan discovered stacks of old newspapers where Mr. Higgie kept his offices. I got a good look at a couple of them, including a front page from February 5, 1930 (Chicago was having gang problems in those days) and a sports page from January 25, 1930 (the Chicago Blackhawks were playing the Pittsburgh Pirates in Atlantic City.)

J.L. Higgie Building demolition

January 25, 1930: The Pittsburgh Pirates moved their game against the Blackhawks 400 miles east because “Smoky City” fans weren’t showing up. Ouch.

Chicago’s 62nd (and final?) tower crane of 2017 is up at Belmont Village

Belmont Village tower crane

This shiny red tower crane is ready to lift heavy stuff at Belmont Village.

Unless you’re a big Tunch Ilkin fan, the number 62 might not mean all that much to you. But it’s somewhat of a landmark here in Chicago, as we’ve reached 62 tower cranes for the year.

And while we still have a stub planted in the ground (at Hayden West Loop) we don’t have a date on that tower crane going up, so Belmont Village may very well be our final tower crane of the year.

Chicago surpassed its all-time high (heh — high) in tower cranes back in September, when the Mayor’s office announced we’d erected our 54th crane of the year. But we didn’t stop there.

The crane at Belmont Village, the 7-story senior living facility being built at 700 West Fullerton, marks the third tower crane for The Lincoln Common, GC W.E. O’Neil, and for Lincoln Park. They make a handsome trio.

If indeed this is our final tower crane of 2017, it deserves a big photo gallery of assembly. So here you go, taken over the course of three days (Dec 6-8)

Belmont Village hides a tower crane stub in Lincoln Park

Belmont Village tower crane stub

Deep down, that’s a very nice tower crane stub at 700 West Fullerton for the Belmont Village project.

It’s there, the tower crane stub that will soon grow into W.E. O’Neil’s third tower crane at The Lincoln Common development on the old Children’s Memorial Hospital site in Lincoln Park. But you have look hard.

The red stub is planted along the east side of the new Belmont Village senior living site, along Orchard Street, at 700 West Fullerton. But it’s rooted so deep into the foundation that, until the rest of the crane is erected, it goes largely unnoticed.

We expect the tower crane to be erected in full this week, which would make it our 33rd active tower crane in Chicago, and #62 for 2017.

3833 North Broadway puts up Chicago’s 61st tower crane of 2017

3833 North Broadway tower crane

A pretty sight at the 3833 North Broadway site, as DLG Management erects a tower crane.

We all made a big deal¬†earlier this month about Chicago reaching 60 tower cranes for this calendar year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t erect any more of them. Just ask 3833 Broadway, the Jonathan Splitt Architects-designed, 8-story, 134-unit residential project from DLG Management at the intersection of North Broadway and West Sheridan Road.

I was up there Friday morning, and the tower cranes wasn’t complete yet. But another visit Monday showed Central Contractors Service putting the finishing touches on the pretty yellow¬†Liebherr 316 EC-H 12 Litronic machine. As they’re providing their own general contractor service as well, this marks DLG’s first entry into our Chicago Tower Crane count, so congratulations!

Here are a few (it’s never just a few) shots from Friday and Monday:

The second tower crane is coming down at McDonald’s HQ

McDonald's West Crane removal

Piece by piece, the West Crane at McDonald’s new HQ is coming down.

West Crane at the new McDonald’s Headquarters in the West Loop was the first one to work, and now it’s the last one to go home. Of the two tower cranes, that is.

The two cranes were erected about a week apart back in February, did what McHugh Construction needed them to do, and East Crane came down back in September. West Crane stuck around to get the last of the heavy lifting accomplished, but this week sees it leaving the site as well. Trucks and personnel from Central Contractors Service were out there Thursday disassembling the second Peiner SK415 and lowering it to the ground.

With a stub in the ground at Hayden West Loop but no crane assembled there yet, the West Loop tower crane count drops to 7, tying it with the South Loop for the neighborhood lead. It’ll get it back soon though.