There are few things construction nerds look forward to more than caisson work. It marks the unofficial “official start” of skyscraper construction, people are digging in the dirt, heavy machinery dances around each other, and loud noises bounce off neighboring buildings. You might not think it’d be fun to watch, but it’s mesmerizing. Which is why some of us stand there and take dozens of photos.
CTA and Metra rides, Zipcars, Divvy bikes, camera lenses, and solid walking shoes add up. You can help offset expenses with a greatly-appreciated donation to Building Up Chicago.
The actors know their lines, the set is decorated, and the curtain is about to go up at 354 North Union. The Stalworth Underground Drill Team has been standing by patiently waiting for their moment to shine. That moment is now. Let the caissons begin!
That’s right, I hashtagged #firescraper. I want that to become a thing.
This post was started back in February 2020. We really want this one to get started. How many buildings can be referred to as mixed-use because they’ll contain office space, retail space, parking, and a freakin’ firehouse!?
When the firehouse is demolished, as with all demolitions, water will be sprayed on the crumbling structure to limit dust. Who’s better at spraying water than the Chicago Fire Department? A match made in heaven, I tell ya.
A couple more photos of the firehouse for you, plus renderings of The Rivere from Goettsch Partners:
Site preparation is underway for/at 354 North Union, a 32-story, 373-unit apartment tower in the Fulton River District of West Town.
354 North Union got its first permit way back on March 16 of 2020, giving developer and general contractor Onni Group the all-clear to start building the foundation up to the “underside of level 3.” The Pappageorge Haymes Partners-designed tower will also include 143 parking spaces, if that building permit is to be believed.
Check out the two Stalworth Underground big blue rigs sitting off in the corner, champing at the bit waiting to drill caissons deep into the earth. Bit. Drill. Heh.
This was 352 North Union at the community meeting six or so years ago. I think it went up a couple ticks because it’s taken so long to get it started. But we’re here, that’s what counts. A forthcoming new name wouldn’t surprise me though.
If you’re ever unsure which tower is Cascade and which is Cirrus, remember that Cirrus is taller, and it has the better views of Lake Michigan. You give the condos better views.
Quick refresher, then we’ll roll the photos.
- General Contractor – Lendlease
- Design Architect – bKL Architecture
- Developer – Magellan Development & Lendlease
- Cirrus Condominiums – 47 stories, 363 units
- Cascade Apartments – 37 stories, 503 units
Make it 17.
One of Chicago’s 18 March tower cranes is already gone, with Imprint (717 South Clark) now topped out and craneless. The good news is, we won’t have to wait long to replace that 18th crane, and add a 19th. But more on that later.
As you can see in the photos, curtain wall progress is inching toward the top of the 30-story Imprint. A Spring 2020 opening is planned, though not all units will be available for immediate occupancy in the spring. Click on the Imprint link and you’ll see what’s gonna be ready when.
The last time Cirrus Condominiums and Cascade Apartments appeared on this blog, I pointed out the need to get as many photos as possible before construction rose above “theater level” from N. Harbor Drive. Well, here’s the thing about that. With construction looming so close to that elevated walkway, you can’t have construction nerds standing within an arm’s length of carpenters and iron workers, offering our advice on how work should be done. And so, the sidewalks have been (understandably) walled off to provide a safety buffer between pedestrians and professionals, limiting us tower crane enthusiasts to get shots where we can. Which is still pretty cool, tbh.
What’s that old saying I just made up a couple weeks ago? Oh yeah, I remember:
Tower cranes should be cherished. Two tower cranes should be cherished and celebrated. Three tower cranes should be cherished, celebrated, and should get their own post.
This is their own post.
This is my first edition dedicated to Imprint. The name Imprint is a novel idea, an homage to the history of the South Loop’s Printers Row neighborhood. You should book a tour; nothing is binding until you sign a lease. I tried to talk to one of the workers on site, but the wind was too strong, creating a rough draft that had chapter lips. She wasn’t able to page someone else, despite my attempt to press.
That’s it; I don’t have any more printing puns. <HITS PUBLISH>
Imprint will be a 30-story, 349-unit rental tower. A three-story, 55,000-sq-ft former office building at 719 South Clark is being renovated and integrated as amenity space for the new residents.
CMK Companies, responsible for a lot of what’s being built in the South Loop, is the developer. Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture is the design architect, and Lendlease is on the build. They’re all working toward a Spring 2020 opening.