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.

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.

 

Australian Unity’s new offices begin to rise at 271 Spring Street in Melbourne

271 Spring Street Melbourne

Probuild’s tower crane has started construction on ISPT’s 271 Spring Street in Melbourne.

A noticeable trend in Australia is incorporating the old into the new. Saving facades, adding additions atop existing buildings, and developing around historic structures. 271 Spring Street is Melbourne is one such project.

Designed by John Wardle Architects, 271 Spring Street will be a 16-story office tower developed by ISPT. It will — literally — tower over the facades of the old Elms Hotel and the Mission Building along Spring Street. Probuild is the builder, which is why they get to have their name on the tower crane. (Side note: Getting my name on a tower crane is now a life goal.)

271 Spring Street looks like a cool building, right? Great location? Close to transportation? Want to lease some office space? Sorry. Every centimeter of the 15,600 square meters of space is spoken for by Australian Unity. They’ll move into the new digs in mid-2019.

271 Spring Street Melbourne

This on-site rendering poster shows how 271 Spring Street will loom over, and behind, two historic buildings.

 

Watch via EarthCam as work begins on Milwaukee’s BMO Tower

BMO Tower Milwaukee

Google Maps image of the doomed parking garage, being demolished to make room for BMO Tower in Milwaukee.

November 16 saw groundbreaking ceremonies for BMO Tower in Milwaukee, a 25-story office building that will serve as the new home for BMO Harris Bank. Designed by Kahler Slater (Westin Milwaukee), the tower will feature 380,000 rentable square feet, and 647 parking spaces through the 8th floor. The ground floor will contain a BMO Harris bank branch. Along with BMO Harris, the law firm of Michael Best & Friedrich LLP is also signed on as a tenant.

As you can see below, our friend Curtis Waltz at Aerialscapes flew over the site this weekend. BMO’s current offices are in the building on the right. To the left, you can see the demolition equipment staged atop the roof of the soon-to-be-leveled parking garage.

BMO Tower Milwaukee

Aerial view courtesy of Curtis Waltz at Aerialscapes.

The new BMO Tower is being developed by Irgens, which will also renovate BMO Harris’ current space next door once they move into the new building. J.H. Findorff and Son (Marquette and The Couture) is the general contractor.

Of course, with Milwaukee being a far far far north suburb of Chicago, it’s a little out of my coverage radius. Thankfully, EarthCam sent over a link to its webcam for the BMO Tower project, so you can watch progress, starting with the demolition of the existing seven-story parking garage, live. You’ll find “View 3” is already zoomed in on the rooftop of that garage for you to get a close-up look.

BMO Tower Milwaukee

BMO Tower rendering from Kahler Slater.

BMO Tower Milwaukee

Another Google Maps image of the parking garage being demolished at Broadway and Wells.

145 South Wells scores a foundation permit

145 South Wells foundation permit

The Foundation Permit for 145 South Wells, issued 11/22/17.

145 South Wells can begin drilling caissons in its Loop lot. A permit issued by the City of Chicago Wednesday says so. That means we’ll see Case Foundation on site any minute now.

The 20-story office tower is being built by Moceri + RoszakThomas Roszak Architecture handled the design for 145 South Wells, which will deliver more than 200,000 square feet of luxury loft offices.

The Loop is presently without a single tower crane, so 145 South Wells figures to be our next opportunity to have one erected. Beyond this project, 130 North Franklin and redevelopment of the General Growth building at 110 North Wacker are the most likely tower cranes on the horizon.

Demolition of the parking garage in March of this year.

Demolition of the parking garage in March of this year.

145 South Wells rendering from Thomas Roszak Architects.

145 South Wells rendering from Thomas Roszak Architects.

Wynyard Place greets Sydney visitors with a tower crane trifecta

Wynyard Place Sydney

Look up! These 3 tower cranes greet you from Wynyard Place when you step out of the Carrington Street exit of Wynyard Station.

You know you’re going to enjoy Sydney when you jump on a train at the airport, riding past Sydney Harbour and the Opera House, to Wynyard Station in the CBD, and the first thing you see when you walk out into the light of day are three tower cranes.

Wynyard Place Shell House

Shell House

Those three cranes belong to Wynyard Place, a multi-faceted renovation and new-construction project from Brookfield. Also known as Brookfield Multiplex. And we’re very familiar with Multiplex and their multicranes at projects like Jewel Residences, Collins Arch, and Swanston Central.

The centerpiece of Wynyard Place will be a 27-story, Make Architects-designed office tower being built on the site of the former Menzies Hotel, now being demolished, at 10 Carrington Street. Also included in the project are the renovations of 285 George Street, and Shell House.

Shell House (yes, the oil company) is notable for the clock on top, and the large SHELL lettering along the side. The 12-story Shell House was built by Shell Oil as an office building, was converted to a hotel as part of Menzies, and is now being renovated back into 7,700 square meters of office space.

285 George Street, according to Commercial Real Estate, also goes by the name “Beneficial House,” and used to be the home of menswear store “Peapes.” Peapes signage has been revealed during demolition, just like the Shell sign.

Both buildings being renovated, Shell House and 285 George Street, currently feature tower cranes growing out of their roofs. I can’t say I’ve ever seen, or at least noticed, that before.

All three buildings will combine for nearly 70,000 square meters of office space and 6,700 square meters of retail, plus room for parking 80 cars. Completion of Wynyard Place is expected in 2020.

The second tower crane is coming down at McDonald’s HQ

McDonald's West Crane removal

Piece by piece, the West Crane at McDonald’s new HQ is coming down.

West Crane at the new McDonald’s Headquarters in the West Loop was the first one to work, and now it’s the last one to go home. Of the two tower cranes, that is.

The two cranes were erected about a week apart back in February, did what McHugh Construction needed them to do, and East Crane came down back in September. West Crane stuck around to get the last of the heavy lifting accomplished, but this week sees it leaving the site as well. Trucks and personnel from Central Contractors Service were out there Thursday disassembling the second Peiner SK415 and lowering it to the ground.

With a stub in the ground at Hayden West Loop but no crane assembled there yet, the West Loop tower crane count drops to 7, tying it with the South Loop for the neighborhood lead. It’ll get it back soon though.