Farewell, 320 South Canal Tower Crane. You served the city well

Parting is always such sweet sorrow, but tower cranes don’t stay in one place forever, so shed no tears for the Potain MR298 Luffing Jib workhorse atop 320 South Canal in the West Loop. Last week, a derrick crane was installed to dismantle and lower the tower crane, and that it did, with removal, from what I could see 52 stories below, wrapping up Monday.

I made it over here in time to see a couple crane sections on the ground, and one loaded up onto a truck to be hauled away. I tried to wait for the truck to pull out of the construction site, for the dramatic grand exit, but I lack patience. I also tried waiting around long enough to see the derrick crane lift a load of steel up to the top. I didn’t last that long. This was interesting though. I’m going to make some assumptions here, but that load of steel looked heavy, and that derrick crane doesn’t have much reach away from the glass cladding on the west face of the tower. There were guy-wires on each end of the load, running on tracks running up the side of the tower, to keep the steel from rotating, which would have sent one end or the other crashing through the faΓ§ade. Or at least scratching the heck out of the glass. Who knows, maybe these are common, but they’re something I’d never noticed before. The photo in the gallery below with the two red circles shows those attachments.

15 minutes elapsed between the time I took this first photo of the steel lift and the second photo, and it’s only about 3/4 of the way up. Glad that crew has more patience than I.

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A Sears Tower Tower Crane Survey

Visits to Skydeck aren’t quite back to pre-pandemic normal. I usually go up there and spend a couple hours taking pictures of everything I see. Three times. Can’t do that anymore. So I got what I could remember I wanted to get.

Like tower cranes. Some of them, anyway.

One of the secrets to taking photos from Skydeck is avoiding the bad windows. Much of what looks like smooth, clear glass will distort your pictures. Short on time, I failed to be selective. I also failed to be prepared.

You’ll see what I mean.

Clarendale Six Corners is missing; it’s too far away. I also tried to see the tower crane in Oak Park, but had no luck. Oh for a tripod, more time, and something ridiculous like a 1000mm zoom lens.

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Hanging glass at 320 South Canal

Shaky video because I refuse to lug a tripod around with me. Sorry. I hope the guys up there aren’t anywhere near as unsteady.

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πŸ— May begins in Chicago with 11 tower cranes in the air πŸ—

Remember that era of 30-something tower cranes?

Where are our tower cranes?

  • West Loop – 4
  • River North – 2
  • One each in: The Loop (320 South Canal); West Town (1454 West Randolph); Portage Park (Clarendale Six Corners); Gold Coast (Gild); Illinois Medical District (IL Health)

What are they building?

  • Residential – 5.5 (300 North Michigan is half res/half hotel
  • Office – 4
  • Medical – 1 (IL Health)
  • Hotel – .5 (300 North Michigan)

Who has tower cranes?

  • Power Construction – 6
  • 5 GCs with one each: Ryan Companies (Clarendale Six Corners): Clark Construction (320 South Canal); Skender (609 West Randolph); Walsh Construction (Salesforce Tower); Pepper Construction (UI Health)

We still have a stub only at 2050 West Ogden. 354 North Union has begun caisson work; that should be getting a tower crane permit any day now. 1000M, 320 South Clinton, 345 North Morgan, and 178 West Randolph still have outstanding tower-crane permits.


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Goettsch Partners announces the topping out of 320 South Canal

320 South Canal (Union Station Tower) has topped out in the West Loop.

Goettsch Partners announced on their Instagram page last night that the final beam has been lifted into place at 320 South Canal, celebrating the topping-out of the West Loop’s freshest skyscraper.

Congratulations to all involved on this construction milestone, including Clark Construction, Riverside Investment & Development, and Goettsch Partners.

Check out the Instagram photos from Goettsch at the link above, and then I’ve got a few more construction pics for ya.

Union Station Tower from near and far

Union Station Tower March 2021

From the west, Union Station Tower is starting to obscure 311 South Wacker.

If you stand near the base of the under-construction Union Station Tower, it feels like it. and you, are surrounded on all sides by view-blocking height. But wander out of The Loop a few blocks, and you’ll begin to see just how dominant this tower is becoming in its own right.

By the way, you can have your choice of names for this tower aw well. Union Station Tower, BMO Tower, and 320 South Canal all work.

Clark Construction

Goettsch Partners

Riverside Investment & Development Company