A matter of mere days after I’d finally come to grips with no longer having two tower cranes at the new McDonald’s Headquarters in the West Loop, word came that the East Crane at Vista Tower was coming down. I made the pilgrimage over to Streeterville to take a few shots from across the Chicago River, turned to look behind me, and what else do I see? One tower crane at One Bennett Park! I appreciate everyone’s progress here, but noooooooo!
First off, let me assure you I didn’t spend all our time in London taking pictures of tower cranes and construction sites. That would have been a wasted opportunity to see the English countryside and historic buildings. But I like the cranes, so I didn’t ignore them, either.
I make much of the tower cranes in Chicago. We have a lot. 32.5 at the moment, now that No. 508 is being erected. But London? That city has tower cranes. And if you think the counts are close, let me illustrate the gap by showing you two construction projects, with a total of 20 tower cranes between them.
Battersea Power Station
“Massive” is a popular word in England. I heard it to describe a multitude of things. It’s also become somewhat click-baity here in the States. But this Battersea Power Station redevelopment can be described in no other way. It is indeed massive. It will include architecture by Foster + Partners, Gehry Partners, and more. Features will include an elevator up to an observation deck within one of four existing smoke stacks, and the restoration of two old maritime cranes. Ten tower cranes *and* they’re restoring the two Thames-side cranes? Amazing.
Want to know more? (SPOILER ALERT: You do.) Please click this link to learn more about Battersea Power Station.
A cool model of Battersea Power Station on the construction site.
From across the Thames. Do you see 10 tower cranes?
Like the Battersea project, Southbank Place centers around an existing building, this one being the Shell Centre tower. The 27-story building will soon be surrounded by seven more towers, five of which will be residential, with the remaining two serving as offices. Five different architecture firms are contributing designs to this development. Which is, to be honest, also massive. But duh. Why else would it need TEN TOWER CRANES.
I will not attempt to explain any further, as there is too much to know. Click this link to learn more about Southbank Place.
Shell Centre, surrounded by 10 (maybe 11?) tower cranes.