And then there were two. Twice.

One tower crane is cool. Two is spectacular. There might be sound functional reasons to employ two tower cranes on a job site, but it’s usually done for our entertainment. And two jobs sites came through for us last week.

The Lincoln Common

The two tower cranes of The Lincoln Common.

W.E. O’Neil added a second crane up at The Lincoln Common. It.s two 20-story towers each require a crane of its own. And McHugh Construction added a second crane at One Grant Park. It’s primary function will be to construct the 16-story parking deck, while the first crane continues with the residential portion of the 76-story apartment tower.

One Grant Park

A luffing crane has joined the fun at One Grant Park.

Chicago now has five construction projects with two tower cranes, joining the Simpson Querrey Biomedical Research Center, One Bennett Park, and Vista Tower.

It’s Craning Day Part II at The Lincoln Common

The Lincoln Common North Crane

North Crane’s stub is set in its foundation, and the rest of the crane is being erected starting today.

Out at The Lincoln Common in Lincoln Park. W. E. O’Neil and Central Contractors Service are back at it again, erecting the second tower crane for the dual-20-story-tower mixed-use project from Hines and McCaffery Interests.

The site was blessed with a pair of tower-crane permits back in July and August. The South Crane (The permits call them “East” and “West.” This is a struggle for me.) was erected in late August. And this morning, work is starting on the North Crane. Funny, North got its permit first, yet was erected after South, but that means nothing at all, so it isn’t worth mentioning, even though I did anyway.

As for construction itself, the south tower is starting to go vertical, with the core reaching above street level. Meanwhile, the north tower area is still mostly underground. You’ll notice, in particular, the tower-crane foundation is well below street level. Which is further proof this will be a fascinating site to watch.

Progress continues on Sterling Bay’s topped-out 4-story C.H. Robinson HQ

Gone is the red monster crawling crane that helped 1515 West Webster top out in early August. But there’s still a lot to see, including a crane on a barge, as Power Construction continues working on Sterling Bay’s new office building along the North Branch of the Chicago River.

Destined to become the new home of C.H. Robinson, the four-story, 60-foot-high structure is a design from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and will grow to over 200,000 square feet when finished next year.

1515 West Webster

Progress on 1515 West Webster is seen from the 46th floor of 150 North Riverside.

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.


W.E. O’Neil erecting Chicago’s 31st tower crane at The Lincoln Common

The Lincoln Common south tower crane

The Lincoln Common south tower crane makes its appearance in the Lincoln Park skyline.

It’s almost here.

Chicago’s 31st (and, eventually, 32nd) tower crane is just about ready to lift the heavy stuff at The Lincoln Common in Lincoln Park. W. E. O’Neil and Central Contractors Service have been on the site since Wednesday setting up the South Tower Crane. That means crew members are climbing around at scary heights, fastening what needs to be fastened, tightening what needs to be tightened. By the looks of progress, there’s no reason to believe Southy won’t be operational for work on Monday.

Still no sign of North Tower Crane, but I don’t want to sound greedy. We can just enjoy one for now.

First of two tower cranes begins at The Lincoln Common

The Lincoln Common south tower crane

The south tower crane starts to rise at The Lincoln Common, seen from the Fullerton “L” platform.

On the red, purple, or brown line today? Take a look to the east from the Fullerton station, and you’ll see the first of two tower cranes being erected at The Lincoln Common. That’s where I spotted it from, because for some reason, I wasn’t staring at my phone as we pulled up. I jumped out and walked over to take a look.

And Twitter noticed. Users @kgburke3 andi @ChiBuildings (too early for a #FollowFriday? You should be following Chicago Cityscape for all things Chicago development) pointed out the street closure of North Lincoln Avenue between Belden and Fullerton Avenues through Friday for the big event. 

There’s still a lot of foundation work going on for this dual-tower, 540-unit mixed use project. W.E. O’Neil is the general contractor, and they’ve got a busy site in the works. You’ll see that in the photos below. No word yet though on when to expect the north tower crane to arrive.

Uplifting news: Two towers, two tower cranes at The Lincoln Common

The Lincoln Common

Caisson work at The Lincoln Common will include foundations for TWO tower cranes.

Friday was a busy day for important permits in Chicago.

You read in our August tower crane update that The Lincoln Common would soon be on the board with a tower crane for one of the two 20-story, 269-unit apartment towers going up on the site. Well, the City of Chicago just doubled down on that wager, permitting a second tower crane for the site.

We’ll need to work out some names for these. For now, the city’s permits dub them “East” and “West.” But since they’re in position to build the north and south (2335 and 2345 North Lincoln Ave) towers, we may need to use “North” and South” for them. Or, perhaps the cranes will share duties on each tower, as opposed to being dedicated to one single building. Minor details. East Crane and West Crane will suffice for now.

This means W.E. O’Neil will not only get on the board; they’ll storm it. And their two tower cranes will make up for the recent losses at Elevate Lincoln Park and the DePaul School of Music. And don’t forget, we could get a crane across the street when the Belmont Village senior-living facility gets rolling. Tower cranes galore for Lincoln Park.

The Lincoln Common

East Crane

The Lincoln Common

West Crane