Not down yet, but the 3Eleven tower crane is out of commission

3Eleven tower crane removal

The tower crane at 3Eleven has been lowered below the top of the building. You know what that means.

Having served its city well, the tower crane at 3Eleven (311 West Illinois Street) is on the way down. The John Buck Company’s 25-story apartment building topped out in April, and the cladding has nearly reached the top of the tower. Now the work is done for this pretty yellow Liebherr 316 EC-H 12 Litronic tower crane.

Where will it end up next? Well, this is purely speculation, but the tower crane permit for the Nobu Hotel at 854 West Randolph Street in the West Loop calls for the exact same type of Liebherr crane. “Hmmm,” you might say.

3Eleven has topped out, endangering yet another Chicago Tower Crane

3Eleven topped out

The top of the topped-out 3Eleven, at 311 West Illinois Street in River North.

Word came down from Power Construction that 3Eleven, the 25-story apartment tower from The John Buck Company, topped out this past Friday. Sure, that’s mostly good news. Good news in that the 245 apartments in the FitzGerald Associates-designed tower will are that much closer to being inhabitable. Good news in that the 3,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space can soon open to new businesses. Good news in that parishioners at Assumption Catholic Church will soon have parking again, after the church parking lot was removed to make room for 3Eleven.

But the topping out also means we lose another tower crane in Chicago. One of the pretty yellow ones, too. And you know how much I love those. Who else remembers August of last year, when the stub was first planted, like a newborn baby coming home from the hospital? Sigh. I promised myself I wasn’t going to cry….

Here are some photos of the topped-out 3Eleven. Look at them, while I try to compose myself.


That really cool tower crane at 151 North Franklin is coming down

CNA Center tower crane

Eye-to-eye as the tower crane comes down at 151 North Franklin.

An email from Alderman Reilly’s office confirmed what we already knew; the tower crane at 151 North Franklin is coming down this weekend. Randolph Street between Lake and Franklin is closed as crews from Central Contractor Services use the roadway to load up red tower crane parts and haul them off to their next assignment.

Initial confusion over what kind of crane would be utilized at 151 North Franklin soon turned into joy, as Lendlease engineered a spectacular steel frame over the Randolph Street sidewalk, in effect floating the tower crane above pedestrians’ heads.  A luffer rather than a fighter, it made the Best Of 2016 list, served its purpose, and now moves on. Chances are good we see that same crane pop up downtown soon, on another site.

The topped-out 151 North Franklin drops the tower crane

CNA Center

Those skies on Saturday! You almost don’t notice the tower crane has sunk below the top of 151 North Franklin.

You knew 151 North Franklin had topped out; The John Buck Company told us when they tweeted from the ceremony a month ago. And now comes the next sign that the future CNA Center is getting closer to completion: the tower crane started coming down this past weekend.

Luckily, a tower crane permit was issued yesterday for Eight Eleven Uptown, so things will even out soon. We’ve also got cranes on the way for One Grant Park (planted), 1101 South Wabash, and One South Halsted.

A roof-top crane means 3Eleven nears topping out

3Eleven rooftop crane

This permit, issued Tuesday, allows Power Construction to put a crane on the roof of 3Eleven.

A permit issued last week for a “TEMPORARY TIMBERLAND ASD 35-100 DERRICK CRANE ON ROOF LEVEL” means the John Buck Company’s 3Eleven must be getting close to topping out. I mean, no one puts stuff up on a roof if they don’t anticipate having a roof in the near future, right?

Sure enough, Power Construction says they’ll top out the 25-story apartment tower near the end of the month. Just the 23rd floor, the penthouse-level 24th floor, and mechanical 25th floor remain to be added until it’s roof time.

3Eleven rooftop crane

Rendering of 3Eleven from FitzGerald Associates Architects.

3Eleven rooftop crane

Working in the shadows.

The John Buck Company’s 151 North Franklin tops out

And there it goes. Thanks to The John Buck Company for sharing news that 151 North Franklin topped out, and for capturing the moment the final beam rose skyward in photos. I stopped by Randolph and Franklin later in the afternoon to find Lendlease celebrating the event by hanging more glass.

You can see more photos from TJBC’s on its Facebook page here.

3Eleven gets a webpage, signage

And with that tweet, The John Buck Company announced that 3Eleven now has its own website. So in addition to looking fantastic in the sunlight, you can now find 3Eleven on the interwebs.

Construction Progress: 151 North Franklin glazes a trail in The Loop

CNA Center

Just a couple guys, hanging out, and in, and over, 151 North Franklin.

151 North Franklin, the future CNA Center in The Loop, keeps getting taller and shinier. Go by at any time of day, and you’ll see crews on a couple sides of the building hanging glass panels. It’s the kind of work that’s fun to watch from down here, until you see someone lean out over the edge to watch what’s happening below them, and you need to move on before you lose your lunch.

Here, have a bunch of progress photos, all taken without having to dangle precariously from, over, or above anything.

3Eleven still rising in River North, and is now adding glass


#eleven rises along side Assumption Catholic Church on West Illinois Street in River North.

3Eleven, the 25-story apartment tower in River North from The John Buck Company, has reached the glass milestone. Not the glass ceiling, mind you. So far, only the windows are glass. As the tower rises to the 17th floor or so, Power Construction is starting to glaze up the exterior. 3Eleven will hold 245 rental units, 3,000 square feet of retail, and 109 parking spaces, some of which will be shared with Assumption Catholic Church next door.

If you’re clad and you know it… you might be 151 North Franklin

There’s an embarrassment of riches of new glass around Chicago these days. The latest to show up for the party? 151 North Franklin. But you have to look carefully. There are a few panels visible from the corner of Franklin and Randolph, and then a couple rows along Couch Place (aka the alley between Randolph and Lake.)

Have a look: