I’ve seen it now with my own eyes: Morton Salt/GGP is gone

110 North Wacker demolition April 2018

Proof that the sun will still shine, even after a building is demolished.

Sure, there are tons of rubble to be removed. And still a lot of excavation to be done. But as for the building itself, the former Morton Salt Building, and more recently the GGP HQ, is history. Better get out there while you can and enjoy the unobstructed views of the Boeing Building, the Civic Opera House, and more, before work on the new 110 North Wacker starts going skyward. (It’ll be a while, though.)

 

All of the Morton Salt Building demolition pictures

It’s gone now.

The former Morton Salt building, more recently the former home of GGP (General Growth Properties) at 110 North Wacker Drive, is a dirt lot now, as can be seen in the above photo shared by Twitter user @JoshatNRDC. (Great view of the new tower construction, Josh! I’ll bring the coffee if I can borrow your windows for a few hours a day.)

You can kinda sorta watch the demo work by Heneghan Wrecking along the way in the photo gallery that follows. Coming soon: a shiny new 54-story office tower from Howard Hughes Corporation and Riverside Investment & Development, designed by Goettsch Partners.

More destruction at GGP/the former Morton Salt Building

The video above was taken Thursday from across the Chicago River, looking through the windows of 110 North Wacker as Heneghan Wrecking worked from the inside out to demolish the six-story building. There are about four million office windows around this site with better views than I can get, so if you’re in one of those offices, share your views with the rest of us!

 

 

General Destruction has begun at the General Growth building

GGP Demolition 110 north Wacker

Big chunks are missing from the GGP building at 110 North Wacker. The barge is catching them.

It feels good to write something about activity in The Loop again.

The former GGP headquarters at 110 North Wacker Drive in The Loop has begun to crumble into the Chicago River. Not by accident, of course. And not actually into the water. There’s a barge out there on the river, and Heneghan Wrecking is using it to haul away debris from the demolition of the six-story building, making space for the much-anticipated 54-story, Goettsch Partners-designed office tower 110 North Wacker, from the Howard Hughes Corporation and Chicago’s Riverside Investment and Development.

The start of demolition at 110 North Wacker immediately vaults the site to the top of the official Tower Crane Anticipation list. Though that could change, if 145 South Wells gets underway. Stay tuned.

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.

Heneghan Wrecking is tearing out concrete slabs at the old Finkl Steel site

Sterling Bay Finkl Steel site

Heneghan Wrecking is tearing up and hauling off the concrete slabs that remain at the old Finkl Steel site.

This blog has no inside information on what exactly Sterling Bay has in store for its recently-purchased* Finkl Steel site. But we’re heartened by activity, as Heneghan Wrecking is back on site, removing the concrete slabs from the empty lots, virtually all that remains of the once-mighty steel yard.

DNAInfo? That’s another story. They *do* have some inkling of what could be coming, and they posted about it back in July here.

*While still at Crain’s, Ryan Ori reported on the Finkl site deal late in 2016. And then the Chicago Tribune’s Ryan Ori reported in July about Sterling Bay adding even more land to its portfolio.

Whatever is coming, it can’t get started without wiping the slate clean of the Finkl remnants. That’s what Heneghan is up to. Does it mean new construction is imminent? That remains to be seen. But we can hope.