Brace for an entire Summer of a Loop without a tower crane

145 South Wells

The now-empty lot at 145 South Wells. Case Foundation will begin caisson work in September.

The Loop, Chicago’s central business district, has been without a tower crane since 151 North Franklin dropped its crane back in April. And it looks like The Loop shall remain craneless until late summer/early fall.

A Facebook post from Case Foundation on June 22 lets us know they’ll begin caisson work for Clark Construction in September at 145 South Wells, the office tower project from developer Moceri + Roszak and design architect Thomas Roszak Architecture.

There aren’t many jobs on the immediate horizon for The Loop, so it’s highly unlikely anything else will get started before 145 South Wells. Of course, we should keep our eye on the empty lot at 130 North Franklin, just to be safe.

There are no tower cranes in The Loop. Will 145 South Wells end the drought?

Rendering of 145 South Wells from Thomas Roszak Architecture. Yep, that’ll need a tower crane.

For all the development in Chicago, none of it includes a tower crane in The Loop. The two most recent cranes, at Linea (215 West Lake Street) and 151 North Franklin, have been gone since December and April, respectively. So who will swoop in to save us from this wretched cranelessness?

145 South Wells could be the right candidate. After receiving a demolition permit in mid-March to tear down the small parking garage on site, the lot looks clean and ready to be prepped for the latest project from developer Moceri + Roszak: a boutique office building that will re-team them with design architect Thomas Roszak Architecture. (They worked on Linea together.) Renderings show a tower somewhere in the 15-20-story range. That’s sure tower-crane territory. As for when construction gets underway (looks like Clark Construction will be the general contractor) that remains to be seen; permits have yet to be issued to start construction.

 

 

That really cool tower crane at 151 North Franklin is coming down

CNA Center tower crane

Eye-to-eye as the tower crane comes down at 151 North Franklin.

An email from Alderman Reilly’s office confirmed what we already knew; the tower crane at 151 North Franklin is coming down this weekend. Randolph Street between Lake and Franklin is closed as crews from Central Contractor Services use the roadway to load up red tower crane parts and haul them off to their next assignment.

Initial confusion over what kind of crane would be utilized at 151 North Franklin soon turned into joy, as Lendlease engineered a spectacular steel frame over the Randolph Street sidewalk, in effect floating the tower crane above pedestrians’ heads.  A luffer rather than a fighter, it made the Best Of 2016 list, served its purpose, and now moves on. Chances are good we see that same crane pop up downtown soon, on another site.

The topped-out 151 North Franklin drops the tower crane

CNA Center

Those skies on Saturday! You almost don’t notice the tower crane has sunk below the top of 151 North Franklin.

You knew 151 North Franklin had topped out; The John Buck Company told us when they tweeted from the ceremony a month ago. And now comes the next sign that the future CNA Center is getting closer to completion: the tower crane started coming down this past weekend.

Luckily, a tower crane permit was issued yesterday for Eight Eleven Uptown, so things will even out soon. We’ve also got cranes on the way for One Grant Park (planted), 1101 South Wabash, and One South Halsted.

145 South Wells returning to dust from whence it came

The dramatic video above, taken from a Monday morning Purple Line train, lives as proof that Brandenburg Industrial Service crews ain’t wasting a minute reducing 145 South Wells Street to waste. Approved for demolition Thursday of last week, the four-story parking garage is being pummeled out of existence to make room for a new 20-story office tower from Moceri + Roszak. (You can see a whole boatload of renderings of the new building by following ^^ that link to their website.)

As they did for Linea at 215 West Lake Street, Thomas Roszak Architecture handled the design for 145 South Wells, which is being billed as more than 200,000 square feet of “boutique loft offices.”

The John Buck Company’s 151 North Franklin tops out

And there it goes. Thanks to The John Buck Company for sharing news that 151 North Franklin topped out, and for capturing the moment the final beam rose skyward in photos. I stopped by Randolph and Franklin later in the afternoon to find Lendlease celebrating the event by hanging more glass.

You can see more photos from TJBC’s on its Facebook page here.

Construction Progress: 151 North Franklin glazes a trail in The Loop

CNA Center

Just a couple guys, hanging out, and in, and over, 151 North Franklin.

151 North Franklin, the future CNA Center in The Loop, keeps getting taller and shinier. Go by at any time of day, and you’ll see crews on a couple sides of the building hanging glass panels. It’s the kind of work that’s fun to watch from down here, until you see someone lean out over the edge to watch what’s happening below them, and you need to move on before you lose your lunch.

Here, have a bunch of progress photos, all taken without having to dangle precariously from, over, or above anything.