Essex on the Park enters the Roaring Twenties

Essex on the Park February 2018

Floor markings on the skip show Essex on the Park progress has reached beyond the 20th floor.

Stories, that is. The 20s of the eventual 56 stories to which Essex on the Park will rise.

Power Construction has the new apartment tower at 808 South Michigan Avenue up to the 26th-or-so floor. We know this because level numbers can be seen on the “skip” hoist at the front of the site. That’s an ideal way for us looky-lous to track height progress. It also means Power is dangerously close to the half-way point of Hartshorne Plunkard Associates’ 56-story design.


General Destruction has begun at the General Growth building

GGP Demolition 110 north Wacker

Big chunks are missing from the GGP building at 110 North Wacker. The barge is catching them.

It feels good to write something about activity in The Loop again.

The former GGP headquarters at 110 North Wacker Drive in The Loop has begun to crumble into the Chicago River. Not by accident, of course. And not actually into the water. There’s a barge out there on the river, and Heneghan Wrecking is using it to haul away debris from the demolition of the six-story building, making space for the much-anticipated 54-story, Goettsch Partners-designed office tower 110 North Wacker, from the Howard Hughes Corporation and Chicago’s Riverside Investment and Development.

The start of demolition at 110 North Wacker immediately vaults the site to the top of the official Tower Crane Anticipation list. Though that could change, if 145 South Wells gets underway. Stay tuned.

The Best of Brisbane, Nighttime Edition: 111 Eagle Street

111 Eagle Street Brisbane Queensland Australia

111 Eagle Street stands out from the rest on the Brisbane skyline.

If you wander the streets of Brisbane during the light of day, but head indoors when the sun disappears, you’ll miss out some of the greatest views I’ve ever experienced, in any city.

Story Bridge Brisbane

Story Bridge from the Brisbane Riverwalk.

Here’s what you should do: When it gets dark, head down to the riverwalk along the Brisbane River, and keep going until you see the pretty blue lights framing Story Bridge. Then walk to the bridge itself and begin crossing the river. Now, stop. And just look.

From this vantage point, you’ll find Brisbane’s most spectacular piece of after-dark architecture, 111 Eagle Street. Designed by Cox Architecture (we saw their work at Conservatory Melbourne), developed by GPT Funds Management, and built by CIMIC Group111 Eagle Street opened in 2012. During the day, the 54-story tower doesn’t make the same impression. But just wait until you see it light up.


Avant another skyscraper in Melbourne! And I always get what Avant.

Avant Melbourne

Avant reaches for sunlight in the high-rise forest of Melbourne’s CBD.

May Melbourne never stop building.

In a city that seems to have skyscrapers rising on every block, the especially-busy northwest section of Melbourne’s Central Business District is a construction lover’s dream. Let’s take a look at another project in the neighborhood.

Avant is a 55-story apartment tower at 54 A’Beckett Street (I need someone to explain the derivation of that street name; specifically, why there’s an initial, then an apostrophe.) Developed by the Singapore (talk about another bucket-list destination for me!) firm of World Class Global, Avant is yet another sparkling design by Elenberg Fraser, who keep cranking out one stunning building after another.

Avant will feature 456 apartments, with amenities included on floors 10 and 55. Probuild is the builder on this one. We’ve seen their work in Sydney and Gold Coast, too.

I don’t usually include a whole mess of renderings, but the images on Elenberg Fraser’s website of Avant are gorgeous, so here they all are: (construction photos in the 2nd gallery)

All renderings belong to

And now, the construction shots, which all belong to me 🙂




Essex on the Park gets ready for a tower crane jump, begins cladding installation

Essex on the Park

If you pretend all those supports are trees, you can envision the winter garden taking shape on the 7th floor of Essex on the Park.

Big milestones in the life of Essex on the Park, the 56-story, 476-unit apartment tower at 808 South Michigan Avenue in the South Loop. After receiving a permit from the City of Chicago on November 8 to jump the tower crane, Power Construction will do just that this weekend.

Also appearing on site are the first few panels of cladding on the exterior. Most of it is hidden at the north, rear corner of the tower, but there are a few small panels installed right out in front. You can also see the extra-tall 7th floor taking shape. That’s where Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture included the infinity pool and winter garden in the design. Hence, the extra space.

Oxford Capital Group is developing Essex on the Park, along with renovations of its namesake hotel next door, the Essex Inn. Work is expected to conclude in 2019.

Essex On The Park is becoming Noticeable In The Skyline

Essex On The Park

See it over there? Essex On The Park is starting to show through the trees of Grant Park.

From the east side of Grant Park, looking west, you can see Essex On The Park beginning its slow creep into the Chicago skyline. That’s what going vertical can do for a 56-story tower.

The giant, shiny, 476-unit project by Hartshorne Plunkard Architects will add 476 apartments to the Michigan Avenue streetwall. Oxford Capital Group, Essex On The Park’s developer, plans to have the residences open for move-ins in 2019. Remember that this project also includes the upgrading of the Essex Inn next door, expanding its capacity to 281 guest rooms.

That short red stubby tower crane Power Construction is using to build the apartment tower is fast becoming one of Chicago’s most photogenic. Take a walk around Grant Park, by by changing your location, you can use different buildings as a backdrop. Or, walk through the South Loop to the west, on Wabash or State Street, and get clear blue skies behind the tower crane. I know, I sound obsessed, but try it. You’ll see.


Essex On The Park is a Tower On The Rise in the South Loop

Essex On The Park

Essex On The Park is starting to rise alongside its mother ship, the Essex Inn.

One floor at a time, Essex On The Park is starting to show itself along the Michigan Avenue Streetwall in the South Loop. Of course, we ain’t seen nothing yet. What’s pictured is merely a fraction of the eventual 56 stories that will house 476 new apartments. And that’s a good thing. It means we have lots of progress still to come, lots of watching still to do.