The Pickard Chilton Boathouse we didn’t get

Pickard Chilton Boathouse

Rendering from Pickard Chilton of a proposed boathouse at River Point.

An innocent Wednesday-morning tweet led me down a rabbit hole, and I eventually climbed out through the website of Pickard Chilton, the New Haven, Connecticut-based architecture firm known in Chicago for designing River Point and 300 North LaSalle, plus one of my out-of-town favorites, the Northwestern Mutual Tower in Milwaukee.

One item on the Pickard Chilton projects page in particular caught my attention; The Boathouse. A proposed development for Hines, The Boathouse was designed to go where River Point Plaza stands now. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not at all unhappy with either River Point or its plaza, but this boathouse would have been an awesome addition to the Chicago River. Maybe another location? It could look marvelous down on the South Branch too.

All of the following images of The Boathouse are from Pickard Chilton.

River Point Plaza

River Point Plaza, where The Boathouse would have been built. (B.U.C. image)

Reilly gives Dana Hotel the business, while blocking business expansion

Dana Hotel

Rendering of the proposed Erie Street Hotel from 42nd Ward office.

Dana Hotel

What Alderman Reilly’s email did to the proposed Erie Street Hotel. Basically.

It’s not often a building gets torn down before it’s even approved.

It case you missed the news (Crain’s nails it here) 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly crushed the Dana Hotel’s dream of expanding its current operation Friday afternoon in an email that left no doubt as to where the alderman stands on the proposal.

In laying the smackdown on the “Erie Street Hotel” and the buildings along Erie Street it would have demolished in the process, Reilly instead demolished the hotel itself, stating that feedback from surrounding neighbors paints the Dana as a bad neighbor, creating traffic problems, noise problems, idling-truck-pollution problems, you name it.

But there’s a sliver of hope.

(1) Spend the next 12 months working to improve operations: (a) acknowledge (rather than deny) & address chronic quality-of-life complaints about the Dana Hotel; (b) improve neighbor relations with permanent removal of nightclub/dance operations; and (c) better manage curbside loading/double parking/traffic flow issues stemming from Valet, Taxicab, UBER, Party Buses and Trolley conflicts.
(2) Forgo a Planned Development and determine what can be developed under existing development entitlements and zoning limitations that apply to a DX-5.
Yep. If the Dana Hotel figures out a way to be good neighbors, and can work out a plan to development without changes to current zoning, the alderman just might reconsider the expansion come 2018.
You can view the email in its entirety here