Farewell, 320 South Canal Tower Crane. You served the city well

Parting is always such sweet sorrow, but tower cranes don’t stay in one place forever, so shed no tears for the Potain MR298 Luffing Jib workhorse atop 320 South Canal in the West Loop. Last week, a derrick crane was installed to dismantle and lower the tower crane, and that it did, with removal, from what I could see 52 stories below, wrapping up Monday.

I made it over here in time to see a couple crane sections on the ground, and one loaded up onto a truck to be hauled away. I tried to wait for the truck to pull out of the construction site, for the dramatic grand exit, but I lack patience. I also tried waiting around long enough to see the derrick crane lift a load of steel up to the top. I didn’t last that long. This was interesting though. I’m going to make some assumptions here, but that load of steel looked heavy, and that derrick crane doesn’t have much reach away from the glass cladding on the west face of the tower. There were guy-wires on each end of the load, running on tracks running up the side of the tower, to keep the steel from rotating, which would have sent one end or the other crashing through the fa√ßade. Or at least scratching the heck out of the glass. Who knows, maybe these are common, but they’re something I’d never noticed before. The photo in the gallery below with the two red circles shows those attachments.

15 minutes elapsed between the time I took this first photo of the steel lift and the second photo, and it’s only about 3/4 of the way up. Glad that crew has more patience than I.

Enjoying the photos? Metra and CTA rides, Zipcars, Divvy Bikes, camera lenses, and comfortable walking shoes are adding up. You can help offset expenses by making a greatly-appreciated donation to Building Up Chicago.

Make a one-time donation

Choose an amount


Or enter a custom amount

Your contribution is appreciated.


Hanging glass at 320 South Canal

Shaky video because I refuse to lug a tripod around with me. Sorry. I hope the guys up there aren’t anywhere near as unsteady.

Metra and CTA rides, Zipcars, Divvy Bikes, camera lenses, and durable walking shoes add up. You can help offset expenses by making a greatly-appreciated donation.

Make a one-time donation

Choose an amount


Or enter a custom amount

Your contribution is appreciated.


Goettsch Partners announces the topping out of 320 South Canal

320 South Canal (Union Station Tower) has topped out in the West Loop.

Goettsch Partners announced on their Instagram page last night that the final beam has been lifted into place at 320 South Canal, celebrating the topping-out of the West Loop’s freshest skyscraper.

Congratulations to all involved on this construction milestone, including Clark Construction, Riverside Investment & Development, and Goettsch Partners.

Check out the Instagram photos from Goettsch at the link above, and then I’ve got a few more construction pics for ya.

Up close and personal with Salesforce Tower

Salesforce Tower is one of those construction sites you can just about stand directly beneath and watch it grow. When you can’t get high enough to look down on it, this is the next best thing. You can practically climb into the belly of the beast itself, with 270 degrees of viewing potential around the base. Grab a kayak and you’ve got a full 360-degree range.

A March 2021 Update at Salesforce Tower

Wolf Point, in all its glassy glory, is getting its third tower.

Call it Salesforce Tower, 333 Wolf Point Plaza, or Wolf Point South. Whichever you choose, Chicago will know exactly what you mean, as the third member of the Wolf Point power trio starts making its mark along the Chicago River.

Union Station Tower from near and far

Union Station Tower March 2021

From the west, Union Station Tower is starting to obscure 311 South Wacker.

If you stand near the base of the under-construction Union Station Tower, it feels like it. and you, are surrounded on all sides by view-blocking height. But wander out of The Loop a few blocks, and you’ll begin to see just how dominant this tower is becoming in its own right.

By the way, you can have your choice of names for this tower aw well. Union Station Tower, BMO Tower, and 320 South Canal all work.

Clark Construction

Goettsch Partners

Riverside Investment & Development Company


Third member of the Wolf Point Trio is on the rise

The elevator core at Wolf Point South, aka Salesforce Tower.

There’s an impressive concrete core jutting out of Wolf Point these days, as Walsh Construction begins to make Salesforce Tower a reality. It’s okay to dream about renting office space here, right next door to dreaming about renting an apartment at Wolf Point East. You know, to change up the viewing angles a bit. Best commute ever.

An August walk-around at One Chicago

All photos taken back on August 17. The way it’s going up, One Chicago might be finished by now.

CG: Power Construction

Developer: JDL Development

Design Architect: Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture

Design Architect: Goettsch Partners 

No tower crane (yet)? No problem for Union Station Tower

There’s a stub; it counts.

GC: Clark Construction

Design Architect: Goettsch Partners

Developer: Riverside Investment & Development Company

Walsh Construction erects a tower crane at Salesforce Tower (Wolf Point South)


Design Architect: Pelli Clarke Pelli

General Contractor: Walsh Construction 

Developer: Hines