Here’s one I missed: The Outpatient Surgery Center and Specialty Clinics at UIC

The elusive tower crane at UI Health’s Outpatient Surgery Center & Specialty Clinics.

I don’t know how long there’s been a tower crane at 1009 S. Wood St. in the Medical District, but I know when I found out about it: just now. The University of Illinois Hospital is building the 200,000-suare-foot Outpatient Surgery Center and Specialty Clinics at this location, and since this is a state university, there are no City of Chicago construction permits.

Shive-Flattery Architecture & Engineering and ZGF Architects are both involved in the design, and both make their first appearances here at the B.U.C. Pepper Construction is the general contractor. Sincerest apologies to Pepper for missing their tower crane in the March survey.

Shoutout to UI Health/UIC for the fence banners that show everyone involved in this project. Sure makes my job easier. Except for that whole noticing-the-tower-crane-in-the-sky part.

You can find a wealth of information (including a construction cam!) about the Outpatient Surgery Center & Specialty Clinics below, thanks to the miracle of copy & paste. And then, of course, a few construction photos follow.

OPENING FALL 2022, the Outpatient Surgery Center & Specialty Clinics (OSC) will be a new, advanced care center at UI Health. The 200,000-square-foot facility will feature six floors of patient care space that will accommodate the increasing volume and complexity of surgical care, education, and research at the University of Illinois Hospital & Clinics and its health science partners at UIC.

The OSC will be a new home for state-of-the-art care, including:

The new Outpatient Surgery Center & Specialty Clinics at UI Health is set to welcome its first patients in the fall of 2022.

Visit this page any time to check on construction progress via the live feed.  Click here to view full screen version. Interior and exterior renderings of the building can be viewed here.

Latest Project Updates

  • Basement and foundations have been completed!
  • Structural steel erection commenced: Click to see the progress
  • Next: Structural Steel erection to be completed mid-summer
  • Next: Building exterior to be completed late-Fall/early-Winter  

Experience. Experts. Convenience.

The Outpatient Surgery Center & Specialty clinics will be a new home for outpatient surgery procedures currently performed at the University of Illinois Hospital. The Bruno & Sallie Pasquinelli Outpatient Surgery Center, located on the third floor, will feature eight operating rooms and a 24-bay Pre-/Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), opening needed space for improvements and expansion of the existing inpatient surgery department. This new center will be connected to the main hospital by an enclosed bridge across West Taylor Street.

A number of outpatient clinics also will be calling the OSC their new home:

There will be additional spaces provided to other outpatient clinics based on strategic goals and objectives of the organization.

Checking up on the topped-out and craneless Joan and Paul Rubschlager Building at Rush

Joan Paul Rubschlager Building March 2021

The Joan and Paul Rubschlager Building, b/w the Chicago Skyline, from Rush University Medical Center.

What? It’s been more than a year since I was here? Yeah, I guess it’s been awhile for a lot of Chicago construction projects. Stupid pandemic and laziness.

Over at Rush University Medical Center, Power Construction continues work on the Joan and Paul Rubschlager Building. After breaking ground in June of 2019, this 10-story, 480,000-square-foot outpatient care facility still has a long way to go before it’s ready for patients, with a projected 2022 opening date. It is a design by West Loop architecture firm Nia Architects in collaboration with HDR.


Progress Update: The Joan and Paul Rubschlager Building

Fun Fact: The crane at Rush University Medical Center’s Joan and Paul Rubschlager Building is the westernmost tower crane currently at work in Chicago. Nope, 1520 West Harrison ain’t all that far west, but it’s the winner. Everything happening cranewise in this town is east of Ashland Avenue.

Funner Fact: Until the stub at 1000M grows into a full-fledged tower crane, and/or the tower crane at 1277 East 60th in Woodlawn is erected, the Rubschlager Building is also Chicago’s southernmost crane, now that 717 South Clark is craneless. Your mind is blown, right?

Chicago’s newest tower crane is on the job at Rush’s Rubschlager Building

Two cranes and a skyline at Rush’s Rubschlager Building.

The tower crane is up and running for Power Construction at 1520 West Harrison Street, the site of Rush University Medical Center’s Joan and Paul Rubschlager Building.

I could be wrong, but it appears the tower crane is working on the cofferdam, while the steel is being erected by the rolling crane. (Rolling crane? Street crane? What should I be calling those things?) Whatever they’re called, and whichever is doing what, this dynamic crane duo is piling iron atop iron as the Rubschlager begins its 10-story journey.


It’s Crane Time at Rush University Medical Center’s Joan and Paul Rubschlager Building

Joan and Paul Rubschlager Building

Look at all that glorious tower crane gear. It’s time for the Joan and Paul Rubschlager Building to start going vertical.

The Chicago Medical District is getting a new toy. Monday, crews were seen getting ready to erect a tower crane at 1520 West Harrison Street, the site of Rush University Medical Center’s Joan and Paul Rubschlager Building. Ground was officially broken back in June.

Designed by West Loop firm Nia Architects in collaboration with HDR, the Joan and Paul Rubschlager Building will be a 10-story, 480,000-square-foot outpatient care facility at the corner of Ashland and Harrison. An elevated walkway over Ashland will connect the new $450,000-million building to the main tower of the hospital. The cancer center, and its accompanying 6-story parking structure, are expected to be open in Spring 2022. Power Construction is serving as the general contractor.

This is a wonderful story. Two amazing people donated a lot of money to bring this much-needed project to fruition. I’ve included several links below for you to learn more about it. I hope you’ll read them. You don’t need words from me; my job is to show you what’s happening from the fringes of the job site.

Joan and Paul Rubschlager Building

Rush University Medical Center

Nia Architects

Cotter Consulting

Crain’s Chicago Business

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.

Construction Update: Cook County Central Campus Health Center

Cook County Central Campus Health Center

The Cook County Central Campus Health Center rises up from the corner of Damen and Polk.

Iron rules the day as crews continue building the new Cook County Central Campus Health Center at 1950 West Polk Street in the Medical District. Clayco has had a tower crane at its disposal for just over a month now, and it’s doing big work, stacking steel beam atop steal beam for the future nine-story, 282,000-square-foot facility.

Gensler and Forum Studio shared design duties on this project. Read how the December press release from The Cook County Health & Hospitals System explained the health center’s capabilities:

Clinical services provided in the new health center will include outpatient specialty services such as dental, ophthalmology, oncology, infusion, dermatology, diabetes and endocrine and adult medicine. The first four floors will house clinical space, with the remaining floors serving as administrative space. The flexible building design allows for administrative  to be turned in to clinical space as necessary.

It is expected to open in 2018.


#33: Cook County Central Campus Health Center puts a tower crane in the air

Cook County Central Campus Health Center tower crane

Looked out the window this morning, and there it was. Cook County Central Campus Health Center has a tower crane.

Before I took the time to post photos from Saturday of the tower crane stub at Cook County Central Campus Health Center, Clayco went ahead a put the darn thing up! That’ll teach me to procrastinate. (No, it won’t. It should though.) Not sure exactly which days saw work on the crane, but there it was outside the B.U.C. HQ window this morning, shining in the sunlight.

CCCCHC is now the 33rd active tower crane in Chicago.

Cook County Central Campus Health Center plants a tower crane

Cook County Central Campus Health Center tower crane

Spring is the season for sprouting tower cranes, like this one for the Cook County Central Campus Health Center.

Thanks to a little birdie’s tip, we heard the nine-story, 282,000-square-foot Cook County Central Campus Health Center at the corner of Damen Avenue and Polk Street planted a tower crane stub this past week. The project was designed by Gensler, in collaboration with Forum Studios. Also joining the design/build team is Clayco, Inc. which is serving as the general contractor as well. They got some help from Stalworth Underground, who drove the sheeting for the foundation two weeks ago that you’ll see in the photos below.


Rubble marks the spot where Rush has demolished former student-housing buildings

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t go visit properties permitted for demolition, you could miss them.

February 27 saw a total of 13 demolition permits issued for buildings owned by Rush University Medical Center that had been previously used to house students. The buildings, all on the north side of the street in the 1400 and 1500 blocks of West Harrison Street, were soon torn into by Brandenburg Industrial Service. Sure, I may have looked out the window a time or two in that direction, but a real visit this past weekend yielded nothing but rubble.

According to a story in Crain’s Chicago Business back in 2015, Rush has plans for a 9-story, 620,000-square-foot outpatient center on the site. But of course those plans could have changed in the year-and-a-half interim.

Of note in the midst of the rubble is one building that remains at the east end of the demolition area, still standing, yet surrounded by construction fence. Air conditioners galore make it look lived-in, but with all those barriers, that doesn’t seem possible. But will that structure remain?