210 North Aberdeen puts its tower crane in the air

Just in the nick of time, before August ended, 210 North Aberdeen got the tower crane up in the air. Work was supposed to have started Monday, but weather may certainly have hampered those proceedings. But Tuesday and Wednesday were beautiful days, and it looked like the finished touches were being wrapped up Wednesday afternoon. My guess is that crane is lifting all manner of heavy stuff by Thursday morning. Shout-out to Power Construction and All Crane for breaking our mini-Chicago-tower-crane slump.

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210 North Aberdeen set to erect Chicago’s first new tower crane in forever

Sorry to be so dramatic. It hasn’t really been that long. But since we’ve lost three tower cranes (160 N Elizabeth, 166 North Aberdeen, 853 West Blackhawk) this month, it’s nice to see one going up.

And that’s going to happen starting Monday at 210 North Aberdeen. (h/t to Chris for dropping the hint.) That tower crane base is well-hidden, but the behemoth ALL Crane next to it gives away the story.

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One Six Six drops the tower crane

We lost our third tower crane of August last week, as the Golden Lifter Of Heavy Things was dismantled and hauled away at One Six Six (166 N Aberdeen). It joins 160 North Elizabeth and 853 West Blackhawk (Big Deahl) in the history books. We thank them all for their service.

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Blogging the Burbs: Optima Verdana in Wilmette

This blog has a Category and a Tag for every Chicago suburb we’ve visited to check out a tower crane. We don’t have that many. Adventures to the suburbs are fun, and we’d love to take more, so let us know if you’re working on, commuting past, or living near a construction site with a crane, and we’ll get to them as soon as we can. (Also let us know where to grab breakfast.)

I did that thing I sometimes do where I go to a suburb and seek out tower cranes. Except I knew about this one already, thanks to the fine folks at Central Contractors Service. They let me know a couple months back that they had erected tower crane in Wilmette. A quick UP-N Metra ride up there drops you off right in the middle of the construction site (don’t take me literally. Ever.) and I snapped a few shots.

Being built is Optima Verdana. I last checked out an Optima joint back in May of 2021, when Optima Lakeview was in progress. Optima Verdana is a 100-unit apartment building going up on the northwest corner of Central Avenue and Green Bay Road. There will be about 200 parking spaces, with most of them dedicated to residents, and about 20% of them for the retail space (8,000sf) at street level. Remember, we’re in the burbs now, not Chicago, so different town, different rules.

As this is Wilmette, I don’t have access to the building permits (I mean, I *probably* do, I just don’t know where to look) but I suspect Optima Verdana is another keep-it-all-in-house special, where Optima serves as developer, design architect, and general contractor. Cut out those middlemen whenever you can, folks.

Anyway, here are a few photos of still-below-street-level progress:

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732 West Randolph makes its tower crane official

Like an injured center, it was tall but unable to play. But this past weekend, the rest of the tower crane went up at 732 West Randolph. I included it in the June survey, since the tower had been erected.

Check out a few shots of people in high places who need not worry about me coming for their jobs:

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The second tower crane is up at Big Deahl

Power Construction and Central Contractors Service were out in the elements (it was a beautiful day) Thursday erecting the second tower crane at the Big Deahl development. While the first crane builds The Seng and Common Lincoln Park, this second rig will handle the taller task of 1475 North Kingsbury.

Dedicated crane chaser that I am, I stopped by here twice on Thursday to supervise things. As an added bonus, I have a few progress shots of The Seng and Common Lincoln Park too.


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210 North Carpenter drops its tower crane

210 North Carpenter crane removal

A train goes by as a crane goes bye-bye at 210 North Carpenter.

“Why is that big tall street crane in my shot?” I said to myself as I aimed the camera over the Chicago River into the West Loop. I knew I was looking at tower cranes from the Hoxton Chicago hotel and 210 North Carpenter, but couldn’t figure out what construction site I had missed that would have such a big crane. Then I zoomed in. Noticed the people up on top of the more distant crane. And realized 210 North Carpenter was, in fact, on its way down.

210 North Carpenter crane removal

See? Those are people up there, removing the counterweights from the counterjib.

I had just been in the West Loop earlier in the day, and that street crane wasn’t erected yet. So this came as a surprise. Plus, it meant I had to walk all the way back over there to check things out. Central Contractors Service was on site with GC Leopardo Companies and concrete contractor Adjustable Forms starting to dismantle Manitowoc MD485 (don’t be impressed; I copied that info from the permit.) Leopardo is now one step closer to finishing their new headquarters.

***Whilst in the area of the West Loop Saturday, I stopped at the new McDonald’s HQ and had a go at those new Australian bacon-cheese fries everyone’s been talking about. I suggest you try them.

Lendlease drops the tower crane at 1101 South Wabash

1101 South Wabash crane removal

The tower crane sinks below the top of the 2 Hiltons in the South Loop. You know that means doom.

The Hilton Homewood Suites and Hilton Garden Inn aren’t finished yet, but the tower crane is. We got word last week that the tower crane would be removed any day now, and sure enough, crews from Central Contractors Service, Lendlease, and Pepper Construction (as the concrete contractor, it’s technically their crane) were out there Sunday, taking sections down and hauling them off the site.

There remains quite a bit of work to do to make this tower a hotel. Or two. But now the heavy lifting will be up to the skip hoist.

Twelve01West lights up the West Loop sky

Twelve01West glowing tower crane

More of this, Chicago!

Dear McCaffery Interests:

I can not thank you enough for the Glowing Tower Crane at Twelve01West.

That is all.

Love, Chicago & I

cc: Central Contractors Service