An iPhone update at Union Station Tower

Goettsch Partners rendering of Union Station Tower.

Caisson work is ongoing at Union Station Tower, and it’s still pretty darn tough to get a good look anywhere but along Clinton Street. Sometimes you have to be satisfied with sticking your phone up to the gaps in the fence and snapping away.

So here you go: A February iPhone Update at Union Station Tower, with a few real-camera shots thrown in for good measure.

 

Stuff That’s Done: Essex on the Park

Essex On The Park, standing tall over Grant Park in Chicago’s South Loop.

This is Essex On The Park. Built at 808 South Michigan Avenue, the shiny new tower brought 476 new apartments to the South Loop. It stand 56 stories and 620 feet high, looming over the western edge of Grant Park. Essex On The Park opened to residents in March 2019.

The Team:
Developer — Oxford Capital Group
Design Architect — Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture
General Contractor — Power Construction
Foundations — Keller NA
Demolition — Heneghan Wrecking

You’ll see all their work, in one form or another, in the gallery below, spanning from January 2017 to February 2020.

Uncraning 110 North Wacker

A crane to remove a crane, and a plane, at 110 North Wacker.

I thought I’d head over to 110 North Wacker Sunday and watch the tower crane come down. The newsletter from the 42nd Ward warned us about street closures Sunday and Monday to facilitate the removal, and figured I’d make a day of it.

Yeah. I missed it. I can only assume the tower crane had been lowered section by section already, and this past weekend was just a matter of the final disassembly, and loading it up on trucks to haul it away. Cuz by the time I got there…no crane. Just a couple segments. The crane that took down the crane (yes, that’s a thing) is still up top; don’t be fooled by it.

The good news is, I still got to see a topped-out 55-story office tower with a nearly-finished curtain wall. In the sunshine. And that always makes for a good day.

Remember, this is the team that just finished 150 North Riverside and just started Union Station Tower. They know a thing or two about putting up sweet buildings. Clark Construction is on the build. Goettsch Partners is the design architect. Riverside Investment and Development Company, along with The Howard Hughes Corporation, are the developers.

110 North Wacker is scheduled to open late this year.

Zooming in on Union Station Tower

Union Station Tower is surrounded by construction fence, as you’d expect from a construction site. But man, does it ever get in the way. Monday I got just high enough to zoom in on some of the action.

 

Ground is broken and stirring at Union Station Tower

Goettsch Partners rendering of Union Station Tower, or BMO Tower. Work has begun next to Union Station in the West Loop.

Cubs. Bulls. Bears. White Sox. Blackhawks. Most folks around Chicago know the names of those local teams. But there’s another team in town making a lasting impression on the city, and in particular, the city’s skyline.

Riverside Investment & Development, Goettsch Partners, and Clark Construction are teaming up again for the third in a trio of eye-popping office buildings along the Chicago River. Union Station Tower will join 150 North Riverside (completed in 2017) and 110 North Wacker (in progress, with completion slated for this year) in making Chicago River Architecture boat cruises much more attractive in the coming years.

They’re doing foundation work as we speak where that ugly parking garage used to be, next to the new CTA bus terminal in the West Loop. The lot, bounded by Clinton Street to the west, Van Buren Street to the south, Canal Street to the east, and the bus terminal to the north, is huge. And it looks even bigger despite the foundation equipment spread to all four corners. Heneghan Wrecking even has rigs on the site, as they finish up demolition work of the previously-mentioned ugly parking deck.

Now, about the tower. It’ll be 50 stories and 700 feet tall. There will be about a million-and-a-half square feet of office space, with a 1.5-acre public park at street level. Also known as BMO Tower, for its anchor tenant, its team celebrated with a groundbreaking ceremony December 20th. Completion and opening is expected in 2022.

 

110 North Wacker at night

110 North Wacker

110 North Wacker is rising along the Chicago River on the former site of the Morton Salt building.

Want to know what I did last weekend?

Yep. I went to 110 North Wacker and snapped some photos in the dark. Haven’t been here since it was barely more than a hole in the ground. Nice work on the build so far by Clark Construction.

Have a look: