No time is wasted getting 808 North Wells ready for a 2nd chance

A rendering from Berkelhamer Architects of what might have been at 808 North Wells.

A sales center built at Wells and Chicago back in 2016 for a future residential tower got a demolition permit February 10th so a new vision for the site could begin. And it didn’t take long to tear down the single-story building (it has also seen life as retail space) and rip the old concrete out of the ground. The new 808 North Wells is ready to roll.

808 North Wells was to be a 24-story condominium development from Smithfield Properties with 50 or so condos. The sales center got built, but the tower was never started.

Multiple reports in 2018, including stories by Crain’s and Curbed Chicago, has Amli Residential looking to build an apartment project on the site. Both sources expected a 17-story tower with just shy of 300 rental units, designed by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture.

If that’s the case, the northwest corner Chicago and Wells will be a blank canvas very soon. Taylor Excavating made short work of the lot, with just a little debris left to haul away, and then construction can get started.

My friend Liz sent me this photo back in April 2016 of 808 North Wells construction. Exhibit On Superior is rising in the background.

 

 

Former Jefferson Park Hospital building begins demolition for 1400 Monroe

Demo has begun at 1400 West Monroe, clearing the way for 1400 Monroe.

There’s a new condo building coming to 1400 West Monroe in the West Loop. But first, what used to be Jefferson Park Hospital, among other things, has to go.

Milburn Demolition & Dismantling has begun tearing down the old building. When they’re done, work will begin on 1400 Monroe, a new condominium project developed by JK Equities. The seven-story, Booth Hansen-designed property will deliver 42 luxury 2- and 3-bedroom condos next to Skinner Park.

Demolition of Truc Lam Temple is permitted to begin

The Truc Lam Buddhist Temple

It’s a Friday, and the weather ain’t the greatest, so that might be the only thing keeping demolition crews from having their way with the former Truc Lam Buddhist Temple at 1521 West Wilson Avenue in Ravenswood. A demolition permit was issued Thursday, allowing Precision Excavation to level the building on the southeast corner of WIlson and Ashland.

Crews got a jump start by stripping away the aluminum siding in December. Construction fencing went up along the sidewalks the first week of January.

A new building permit for a 2-story structure with a ground-floor day care center was issued for this site back on November 22. That permit indicates a NORR-designed building, with Builtech Services as the GC.

Demolition at 1415 South Wabash setting the stage for CMK Companies’ latest

1415 South Wabash demolition

Construction fencing and Clark banners went up around the surface parking lot at 14th and Wabash in April.

CMK Companies has something big happening at the corner of 14th Street and Wabash Avenue in the South Loop. Maybe not Riverline big, but still big. And kinda mysterious.

Back in April, on the 19th and 20th, two separate foundation permits were issued by the City of Chicago for this site. The first called for H-Piles to be pounded into the earth to support a 10-story, 62-unit building at 1419 South Wabash. Then another permit was issued calling for more H-Piles at 51 East 14th Street, but these would be for a 14-story, 199-unit building. The permits show both structures to be Pappageorge Haymes Partners designs, and Clark Construction is named as the general contractor for both.

On May 16, a demolition permit was issued to wreck and remove the single-story mural-covered building at 1415 South Wabash that used to belong to Columbia College. (CMK bought that building back in October. Crain’s reported on it here.) And that work has indeed begun, courtesy of American Demolition.

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.