Chicago’s 34th active tower crane, and 57th of 2017, is up and running at 210 North Carpenter. This is Leopardo Companies’ only tower crane on the official count, and their first since finishing the heavy lifting a few blocks away at Fulton West.
The West Loop is in a full-fledged tower-crane frenzy these days, and it won’t let up any time soon. We’ve barely had time to enjoy Tower Crane #33 in Chicago (raised over the weekend at 900 West) and already #34 is being erected, at Sterling Bay’s 210 North Carpenter.
This will be Chicago’s 57th tower crane of 2017, and the seventh crane operating currently in the West Loop.
Crews from Leopardo Companies, Adjustable Forms, and Central Contractors Service are all on site today, getting the Manitowoc MD485 set up, less than a week after the permit was issued, and only five days after the stub was planted in the ground.
*** This story has been updated with the photo below. Leopardo Companies was having the tower crane stub planted on the 210 North Carpenter site as the story was being written Thursday morning. The stub was spotted from the Skydeck at the Sears Tower.
210 North Carpenter has been cleared of caisson equipment, dirt has been smoothed over, and foundations are being dug for Sterling Bay’s 12-story, 200,000-square-foot office building in the West Loop. And on Tuesday September 26, the City of Chicago issued a tower crane permit for the project, allowing CG Leopardo Companies to go vertical on their own future offices.
If being obsessed with a building is a problem, then those of you who know me well (or know me at all, let’s be honest here) know I have a problem.
150 North Riverside is my obsession. And problem. If I ever manage to salvage the thousands of photos on the hard drive I dropped of construction of Goettsch Partners’ Chicago office tower, I’ll post them one at a time and you’ll understand what I mean. But you can see into a few of those portals via blog posts here, here, here, and most recently, here.
It started with the sinking of the Chicago River Barge, quite possibly the most famous demise of a water-going vessel in the history of mankind. And just like that, I became mesmerized by construction. I’d go downtown just to stand on the Randolph Street bridge and see how much progress had been made. When we moved to the West Loop, I’d go out of my way to get to and from the L so I could watch.
Before I was ready to let go, 150 North Riverside was done. And I’ll admit to a tinge of sadness in its construction coming to an end. Not just because there would be no more progress to mark, but because I feared the tower would now become a mystery to me. Sure, the plaza outside is a fantastic space, and open to the public 24/7 for wandering through, or enjoying an al fresco lunch. The lobby even has open hours too. But what reason would I ever have to go inside and see Chicago from this vantage point? Maybe I could find a lawyer with an office there, and threaten to sue someone so I could meet for a consultation.
But then along came my angel. Thanks to Shelby Edwards and the William Blair Company, which started moving its Chicago offices into the tower back in June, I got to go inside this magical building last week. William Blair occupies about a dozen floors in the upper half of the tower. I hung out for awhile on the 46th floor, the main reception area. An amazing space, it offers 360-degree views from a host of meeting rooms, classrooms, and small breakout offices.
And then there’s the art. I respectfully avoided photographing any of the artwork; that usually feels like something you shouldn’t do. But imagine two busts, made of layers hunks of drywall cut from the walls behind the busts. Yeah, it’s as cool as it is hard to describe.
I didn’t spend my entire hour with Shelby taking photos of tower cranes; I captured lots of Chicago views. But those memories are for me. To keep with the theme of this blog, here now are the shots I took to share with you; as many cranes as I could find from the 35th and 46th floors of 150 North Riverside:
Gone is the red monster crawling crane that helped 1515 West Webster top out in early August. But there’s still a lot to see, including a crane on a barge, as Power Construction continues working on Sterling Bay’s new office building along the North Branch of the Chicago River.
Destined to become the new home of C.H. Robinson, the four-story, 60-foot-high structure is a design from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and will grow to over 200,000 square feet when finished next year.
They’re digging holes and filling them with concrete at 210 North Carpenter, the 12-story, 200,000-square-foot office building from Sterling Bay. Crews from general contractor (and future tenant) Leopardo Companies and Michels Corporation are sending caissons into the West Loop soil for what’s been dubbed the “McDonald’s Vendor Village” along the 1000-block of West Lake Street.
Crain’s had the announcement last month that Leopardo had signed on the be the first 210 North Carpenter tenant, turning construction into a quasi-D.I.Y. project, if you will. Leopardo’s corporate offices are in Hoffman Estates, and will remain there, but the Chicago staff will relocate from 333 West Wacker Drive when the new space is completed in 2018.
By the way, we tweeted to Adjustable Forms last month about their involvement as the masonry contractor, and they confirmed our suspicion that 210 North Carpenter *will* require a tower crane. Everyone wins.
Strong Chicago breezes kept Tuesday from being a sad day in the West Loop, but once those winds calm down, the two tower cranes at the McDonald’s Headquarters will be removed.
The Yellow Street Crane Of Doom was on-hand Tuesday, but couldn’t get started on East Crane because of conditions. Wednesday calls for lighter winds, so there’s a good chance crane removal will begin.
Both cranes were erected on the McDonald’s site back in February within a couple days of each other. McHugh Construction was said to be utilizing the top-down method, which allows the frame of the building to go up faster than normal. According to a story by Curbed at ground-breaking time, that shaved off about four months from the construction schedule. Now, a little over six months after the cranes went up, they’ve completed their duty, and it’s time for them to move on.