The South Loop loses a tower crane, as 1407 On Michigan comes down

1407 On Michigan tower crane removal

Lendlease, Pepper Construction, and Central Contractor Services are all working the weekend, bringing the 1407 On Michigan tower crane down.

Any more posts about Lendlease, and they’ll have to put me on the payroll. When the B.U.C. HQ moved into the South Loop, we landed right in the middle of four of their construction sites. Maybe this is the Lend Loop now.

Lendlease’s job at 1407 On Michigan is losing its tower crane. Crews from Central Contractors Service and Pepper Construction are all on hand this weekend, as the crane is lowered from the sky. Russland Capital Group’s 15-story apartment building is topped out (you can see Lendlease’s press release here) and getting glassy, and all the heavy lifting is done.

When complete, the BKV design will include 199 studio to 3-bedroom-sized units, an outdoor pool, basketball court, and business center. The ground floor will have Rush Primary and Specialty Care facility. With three-and-a-half months remaining in 2017, meeting the original goal of having 1407 On Michigan open for residents before the end of the year seems like a stretch, but lets sit back and see how it goes. Mild fall months help.

One Bennett Park turns 50

One Bennett Park

From Grant Park, you can see the growth of One Bennett Park, now 50/69ths of the way up.

Related Midwest announced this week that One Bennett Park, their 69-story residential tower underway in the Streeterville neighborhood, has reached the 50th floor, nearly three-quarters of the way to its ultimate 69-story height. Chicago Architecture Blog had the press release yesterday.

One Bennett has been a marvel to watch, with all that yellow form work and blue wrapping. Dual tower cranes doesn’t hurt its curb appeal either. The joint design of Robert A.M. Stern Architects and GREC Architects brings a mix of 348 apartments and condominiums to town, slated to be ready for the moving vans in 2019,  plus a new public park (Bennett Park, of course.)

As appears to be today’s theme, Lendlease is the general contractor on this project.

And now, some distant views of One Bennett Park’s 50 floors of progress:

Sunset at Riverline shows off Ancora progress

If you go by floor count, it looks like the Ancora tower at Riverline is a teenager now. The CMK Companies apartment-and-townhome building will grow to 29 stories when all is said and done, and Lendlease continues to build.

Like all new construction wrapped in multi-colored building materials, Ancora is best seen on sunny days. And the best-best views are in the evening, as the sun goes down, from the west side of the Chicago River.

Counting down Eleven40’s tower crane days

Eleven40

Eleven40 is topped out, with forms remaining only on the east side. Prepare to lose that tower crane soon.

The way I figure it, as long as there are forms atop Eleven40 in the South Loop, I’ll still have a tower crane to see in the back yard. Once those are all down though, we can expect crane removal to happen post haste, as the apartment tower from CA Ventures and Keith Giles continues toward completion at 1136 South Wabash Avenue. And only the east elevation still has forms at all, so we’re getting down to crunch time.

Lendlease is crazy busy in the South Loop, with Eleven40, Ancora at Riverline, 1407 On Michigan, and Hilton Homewood Suites at 1101 South Wabash all climbing at the same time. Like Eleven40, 1407 is topped out, and its tower crane is expected to come down this weekend. Ancora is less than half way from its ultimate height, and the Hilton is just starting to go vertical.

But back to Eleven40. It will bring 320 apartments across its 26 stories when complete, with delivery expected in Spring 2018. As of Today 2017, there are 14 levels of glass installed above the podium, with crews banging and clanging pieces into place daily. From here, we’d say that Spring opening is a cinch.

One Grant Park plants its second tower crane

One Grant Park Tower Crane #2

Tower Crane Stub #2 at One Grant Park, courtesy of a reader.

A little birdie told us the second tower crane stub arrived at One Grant Park on Wednesday, and proved it with a couple photos. Birdies are smart. And good sharers.

McHugh Construction got the second permit on August 24, then got a foundation permit for it on August 29. 12 piles were driven into the ground for support, and now the stub stands ready for a “free-standing Pecco SN 160 tower crane.”

Essex On The Park is a Tower On The Rise in the South Loop

Essex On The Park

Essex On The Park is starting to rise alongside its mother ship, the Essex Inn.

One floor at a time, Essex On The Park is starting to show itself along the Michigan Avenue Streetwall in the South Loop. Of course, we ain’t seen nothing yet. What’s pictured is merely a fraction of the eventual 56 stories that will house 476 new apartments. And that’s a good thing. It means we have lots of progress still to come, lots of watching still to do.

My really big, very good day: A view of Chicago from inside 150 North Riverside

150 North Riverside

150 North Riverside is open and spectacular along the Chicago River.

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: