Demolition equipment drives thru Chicago’s Rock and Roll McDonald’s

Rock and Roll McDonald's demolition

Bye bye to the old memorabilia pavilion at the Rock and Roll McDonald’s. The restaurant itself will be next to go. Except for the basement. They’re saving the basement.

Tuesday, the City of Chicago issued a demolition permit for one of Chicago’s most beloved tourist attraction, the Rock and Roll McDonald’s at 600 North Clark Street in River North. This shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone, as the Chicago Tribune broke the news two weeks ago that changes were coming to the restaurant. But Twitter didn’t take kindly to the news. At least, not after the first wave of good riddances had passed. Those happy to see the building bite the dust were soon out-voted by many who hold fond memories of being overcharged to eat alongside statues of The Beatles and other rock and roll memorabilia.

Jay Koziarz at Curbed Chicago was on the scene bright and early, and like many of us, was a little surprised to see crews wasting no time tearing into the small pavilion to the west of the main restaurant.

Alas, some Twitter users were excited about the news, thinking the full-block lot was destined for redevelopment. But that’s not the case. Some of the McDonald’s will stay put, and the whole joint will be renovated. So no, don’t expect any shiny new towers to rise up on the block. Yet.

Rock and Roll McDonald's demolition

You’re next, McDonald’s dining room with the visor.

Rock and Roll McDonald's demolition

Photo by Jay Koziarz at Curbed Chicago mid-demolition.

Rock and Roll McDonald's demolition

John, Paul, George, and RinGONE

Rock and Roll McDonald's demolition

The demolition permit.

 

H2O = Heneghan 2 Obliterate, as 845 West Madison turns to rubble

845 West Madison demolition

The old H2) building no longer holds water. Or anything.

And it isn’t taking them long.

Take a walk around the old H2O site at 845 West Madison in the West Loop, and you may not notice much change in the doomed three-story masonry commercial building. But stand on the sidewalk at Madison, and you’ll see that Heneghan Wrecking has cut a swath right through the middle of the beast, allowing them to work outward. So while 95% of the visible exterior may be intact, its insides are quickly being hollowed out.

Heneghan is making space for the new 845 West Madison, a joint development from The John Buck Company and Lendlease. Approved by the Chicago Plan Commission back in June, the key feature of 845 West Madison will be the two 17-story towers, providing a total of 586 units. Also included in the GREC Architects-designed project will be nearly 300 parking spaces, plus about 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. Expect Lendlease to double-up as general contractor as well as co-developer.

With two towers being built on a rather expansive full-block site, the most pressing question so far is, will 845 West Madison require one tower crane, swinging back and forth between the two towers? Or two tower cranes? Stay tuned, as we’ll be on the lookout for the first construction permits.

 

History demolished and discovered at the J.L. Higgie Building

J.L. Higgie Building demolition

One of the highly-coveted plaques, on the Harrison elevation, of the J.L. Higgie Building.

The J.L. Higgie Building at 1909 West Ogden Avenue in the Illinois Medical District is history, having been demolished over the past couple weeks by Heneghan Wrecking. The triangular building bounded by Ogden, Harrison, and Wolcott, built in the 1880s, was built by Higgie to be the offices of his tugboat company.

But speaking of history, demolition unearthed a treasure of it, as Heneghan discovered stacks of old newspapers where Mr. Higgie kept his offices. I got a good look at a couple of them, including a front page from February 5, 1930 (Chicago was having gang problems in those days) and a sports page from January 25, 1930 (the Chicago Blackhawks were playing the Pittsburgh Pirates in Atlantic City.)

J.L. Higgie Building demolition

January 25, 1930: The Pittsburgh Pirates moved their game against the Blackhawks 400 miles east because “Smoky City” fans weren’t showing up. Ouch.

As 170 North Halsted braces for demolition, a clue as to the lot’s future?

170 North Halsted demolition

Stellar Fulton Market map on the (doomed) wall of 170 North Halsted Street.

Rampant speculation around my own desk pegs the demolition of a three-story building at 170 North Halsted in the West Loop as part of the office building coming next door, in the parking lot at Halsted and Lake Streets. And now, some signage may help clarify. Of course, it also may not.

176 N Halsted

Over on the north face, a sign for the forthcoming 176 N Halsted.

On the south elevation of 170 North Halsted is a (fantastic!) hand-drawn map of the Fulton Market District. Around the other side, facing north, is a banner for a future 15-story office tower, 176 N Halsted. This will be a joint effort from Shapack Partners and Focus Development, designed by GREC Architects.

Let’s take the leap and assume that banner means 170 North Halsted will be incorporated into 176 N Halsted once Heneghan Wrecking makes space. Or maybe it’s just a convenient place to hang a sign.

 

With site cleared, St. Ignatius can begin its new athletic center

St. Ignatius College Prep Athletic Center

1001 West Roosevelt, site of the new St. Ignatius College Prep Athletic Center, seen from Skydeck Chicago.

At the corner of West Roosevelt Road and South Morgan Street, Heneghan Wrecking has hauled off the last remnants of the former Provision Theater, making space for St. Ignatius College Prep to get started on its new athletic center.

Permitted for demolition on March 13, the site at 1001 West Roosevelt is a blank canvas now. Not much information is available yet for the new facility, but the coveted building permit will spill all the secrets as soon as it’s issued, likely in the very near future.

 

 

Demolition tears up 1133 West Randolph Street in the West Loop

1133 West Randolph

This is what 1133 West Randolph used to look like. Now, it’s being mashed like a Hot Potato.

You may have heard this already, somewhere, and likely from a reliable source, but property in the West Loop/Fulton Market District is a hot commodity. Chances are, by the time you get your table at Au Cheval, another deal has been made and another building is being decimated to make room for new development.

1132 West Randolph

1132 West Randolph, demolished Winter 2016.

And no properties have been hotter than those that used to be Hot Potato Distributors. Once a presence on both sides of West Randolph Street, the south side buildings at 1133 and 1139 are in the process of being demolished as we speak. 1132-36 was demoed in 2016, and is now an ugly vacant lot.

According to the demolition permits (and the sign on the fence) 1133 is being developed by the DiCosola Group of South Canalport. Demolition is being done by a “Viewpoint Services.”