Chicago’s official Tower Crane Count now stands somewhere in the 30s

625 West Adams

Monday morning, crews began lowering the tower crane at 625 West Adams.

I’m not very good at math, so let’s slow things down a tad this morning. As you may know, the B.U.C. HQ is in the process of relocating, consolidating into the South Loop Bureau. That means far more attention has been paid to taping and painting walls, packing belongings, and mislabeling boxes, than to construction. And it looks like we’ve missed quite a bit over the past week or so.

As for that vague “30s” tower crane count, I think we’re at 32. We’ve lost two cranes this week, as 625 West Adams and the Apple Store are both on their way down, and we’ve gained one, as Essex On The Park now has a Crane On The Count. (33-2+1=32.) But until I can find which box I packed my compass, crayons, and Kodachrome, I won’t be confirming that for awhile.

That leaves Nobu on the clock. Anyone walk by this week?

Apple Store

The Yellow Street Crane of Doom was dismantling the Apple Store tower crane Wednesday morning, just before the weather took a turn.

Essex On The Park

The Essex On The Park tower crane is up and lifting heavy stuff.


A Hard-Hat Tour of 625 West Adams with Power Construction

625 West Adams hard hat tour

Luis Monroy, Project Engineer at 625 West Adams, discusses all things tower crane with Emily East and Rashad Young. All three work for Power Construction.

A huge thank you to Luis Monroy and Power Construction, who led me on a hard-hat tour of 625 West Adams on Wednesday. Power topped out the SCB-designed office tower back on May 22. Now, cladding is being installed and has reached the 11th-floor terrace.

Come take a walk with me.

625 West Adams hard hat tour

The bracing you see in the photo above (also visible in the top photo) is part of the tie-off reinforcement for the tower crane. The steel braces run from the crane to the core.

625 West Adams hard hat tour

Remember the oculus I’ve been showing you on the 19th-floor terrace? We’re now looking at it from eye-level, way off in the corner. This is taken on the 21st (penthouse) floor. Yes, it’s a 20-story tower with a penthouse for a mechanical floor.

This is Eddie. Eddie is a master at hanging glass panels. You can watch him work in the time-lapse video below.

Luis, Emily, and Rashad standing out on the soon-to-be terrace of the 19th floor. Behind them, the inverted tripod that supports the oculus. You may also notice the Sears Tower.

More from the 21st floor.

21st floor looking east.

21st floor looking south. 

21st floor looking north toward the B.U.C. HQ.

21st floor looking west.

Looking out toward the 11th-floor terrace.

The 11th-floor terrace.

A terrace I didn’t know about. This one is on the 7th floor, on the south elevation of the tower. The rebar surrounds what will be planters.

Old St. Patrick’s Church.


I was close enough to the tower crane to climb it. I did not.

The top of the ramp leading to the 6th floor, the last level of parking.

These stairs go up.

These stairs go down.

The ceiling, for now, of the lobby. The lobby ceiling will be about 25 feet high.

The lobby at ground level.

The sun came out after the tour was finished. Thanks a lot, sun. \

And thank you for joining me.


625 West Adams puts a ring on it

Power Construction is doing everything they can to make 625 West Adams look like its renderings. Monday morning, a piece was set in place to form the oculus that will be featured on the upper of two outdoor terraces.

625 West Adams has topped out in the West Loop

625 West Adams topping out

The final beam is lifted to the top of 625 West Adams. Photo courtesy of Power Construction.

Sadly, 625 West Adams, the 20-story office building from White Oak Realty and CA Ventures, topped out last week.

Let me explain. Of course, topping out is a huge milestone, and should certainly be celebrated. But it also means the days of that pretty yellow Liebherr tower crane right outside the B.U.C. HQ are numbered. Sadder still, 625 topped out while we were in London, so after countless hours of staring out the window at progress, I missed the soiree.

Power Construction was kind enough to share the photo above, taken as the last beam was lifted into place on Monday, May 22.



Construction Progress: 625 West Adams

625 West Adams

625 West Adams, as seen from the B.U.C. HQ.

625 West Adams, the 20-story office tower from co-developers White Oak Realty Partners and CA Ventures, continues adding steel beams in the West Loop. After watching the elevator core shoot skyward well ahead of the rest of the building, the main floors are catching up now, so expect to see the core start growing again soon. As of today, Power Construction crews are adding beams to the 17th floor, while concrete gets poured onto the 11th. The SCB-designed tower is on schedule to open in Spring 2018.

625 West Adams holds its first day of glass


625 West Adams

A car parked along Adams Street is reflected in the shiny new curtain wall at 625 West Adams.

625 West Adams reached another construction milestone last week, installing the first few panes of the curtain wall facing Adams Street. As if all that steel above the podium wasn’t distracting enough, now I have all this glass to look forward to. Thanks, Power. Now I’ll get even less done around here.

Looking down on 625 West Adams progress

625 West Adams

Nope, that’s not a misplaced beam. The angle will help form the 11th-floor terrace at 625 West Adams.

625 West Adams terrace render

You get a good look at the 11th-floor terrace in this rendering from the 625 West Adams website.

Maybe it won’t be called the 13th floor, depending on the superstitions of those in charge of such decisions, but 625 West Adams is up to the 13th floor these days. Along with all the iron beams and metal flooring being added to the 20-story office tower, the 11th-floor terrace is taking shape, what with its angled beam overhead. The word from Power Construction is to watch for another terrace at the 19th floor.

By best guestimate, the core looks to be stuck at about the 17th floor, but that will be rising soon as well. Co-developers CA Ventures and White Oak Realty Partners plan on having 625 West Adams open for tenants to start moving in their fax machines and dot-matrix printers and setting up shop in March 2018.

625 West Adams transitions from concrete to steel

625 West Adams steel

Enough with the concrete, it’s steel time at 625 West Adams!

It’s been an enjoyable run, watching Power Construction pour yard after yard after yard of concrete at 625 West Adams in the West Loop. But the podium has reached its apex, and now steel is the main ingredient in the 20-story office tower’s progress.

From the B.U.C. HQ, we can see the six levels of concrete that have risen above what will be the two-story lobby facing north. Now, two floors of steel framing have risen on the northwest corner of the structure, with lots more iron being delivered to the site. Why, there’s even activity atop the core, which hasn’t been elevated in months.

625 West Adams-watch continues in the West Loop

625 West Adams

All’s quiet for the night at 625 West Adams, the SCB-designed office tower coming to the West Loop.

If I haven’t said it already, I highly recommend everyone get a construction site right outside the window. It should be a window that doesn’t open, so you don’t get as much noise. Or dust. Height helps too. Then you just need a zoom lens to keep tabs on the action.

Power Construction is working on the fifth and final parking level at 625 West Adams, the 20-story office tower from CA Ventures and White Oak Realty. Needless to say, it’s mesmerizing to watch.

625 West Adams, late-night edition

625 West Adams at night

625 West Adams, all aglow on West Loop Friday evening.

We’re getting to that time of year, when we have more free time after dark than we have during daylight hours. Fortunately for all of us, some construction looks darn cool after the sun goes down.

Join me for a quick walk around 625 West Adams in the West Loop, a Power Construction Production. 20 stories of offices when it’s complete; just a couple levels of lumber and supports right now. All aglow.