Here comes Tower Crane #2 at One Grant Park

One Grant Park tower crane #2

One Grant park’s original tower crane stands proudly over its latest project: Tower Crane #2.

As One Grant Park continues to grow, we saw growth of another kind on Tuesday: Tower Crane #2 has sprouted up from the stub planted on the site last week.

When I arrived late in the afternoon, the crane’s tower had grown, but the crawler crane on the lot last week planting the stub was nowhere to be found. That tells me Tower Crane #1 is putting Crane #2 together. Doesn’t that kind of teamwork just melt your heart. Crane #1 will continue working on the residential of the tower (that being the 792 apartments we all want to see the views from) and Crane #2 will work on the parking deck that extends up through the 16th floor.

As for the rest of work at One Grant Park that doesn’t involve assembling tower cranes, McHugh Construction crews look like they’ve reached the 15th floor, by my count. Just 61 stories to go to reach 76. We’ll have plenty of progress to watch for over the coming fall and winter months.

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: More photos than you’ll ever need of a tower crane that isn’t even finished yet… plus the rest of progress on One Grant Park.



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.

Expect a very busy September for Chicago tower cranes

As you surely must know by now, Chicago began the month of September with 31 operating tower cranes in the air. And even though we’ve already seen one of those come down — the East Crane at the McDonald’s Headquarters (followed soon by West Crane) — there are plenty more where those two came from, already permitted and ready to rise. As of Friday afternoon, Chicago had seven outstanding tower crane permits.

Which isn’t to say we won’t lose a few more. A permit was issued last week for a crane to remove the two tower cranes at the Simpson Querrey Biomedical Research Center. Eleven40 and 1407 On Michigan in the South Loop are both topped out, so we’ll likely lose those two cranes soon as well.

But let’s concentrate on the positive. Here are the seven tower cranes with active permits that will dot the skyline in the immediate future:

One Grant Park

One Grant Park second tower crane

Beams are driven into the ground at One Grant Park to support its second tower crane.

One Grant Park put up a tower crane way back in April. But then, on August 24, the city issued a permit for a second crane. McHugh Construction started driving a dozen beams into the ground to act as caisson for supporting Crane #2, which will be utilized to construct the parking deck that rises up to the 16th level. Crane #1 will continue working on the residential tower.

The Lincoln Common

Lincoln Common south tower crane

Overhead shot of The Lincoln Common south tower crane, from Curtis Waltz at Aerialscapes.

Another “second tower crane.” W. E. O’Neil erected a tower crane at The Lincoln Common the week of August 21st. The two 20-story towers will each require a tower crane of its own, so expect the second to be erected within the next week-to-10-days.

900 West

900 West tower crane stub

A tower crane stub marks progress at 900 West.

900 West is a relatively small building, at nine stories and 22 condominium units. But it’s just tall enough to require a tower crane. A stub was erected on the West Loop site the first week of September.

Hoxton Chicago

Hoxton Chicago hotel tower crane stub

Another West Loop stub, this one at the Hoxton Chicago hotel at Lake and Green Streets.

Like 900 West above, the Hoxton Chicago hotel is another Power Construction project in the West Loop, and another recently-planted tower crane stub, having been set in place on Friday. The Hoxton will be a 12-story, 175-room boutique hotel for the booming Fulton Market neighborhood. Sadly, Building Up Chicago can no longer watch this site from HQ, having moved HQ to the South Loop.

Hayden West Loop

Hayden West Loop

The tower crane will follow caisson work at Hayden West Loop.

Yet another West Loop development, Hayden West Loop is another project that may not look like it needs a tower crane, but come on. They all need a tower crane. Hayden will be a nine-story, 28-unit condominium building, and it received a tower crane permit on September 7.

808 West Van Buren

808 West Van Buren

Deep excavation work, but no tower crane yet, at 808 West Van Buren.

You didn’t think we were done in the West Loop, right? 808 West Van Buren is a 12-story, 148-unit apartment tower replacing the empty lot at Halsted and Van Buren. It received a tower crane permit last week, on the 6th, and with caisson work wrapped up, a stub should be appearing any day now.

3833 North Broadway

3833 North Broadway

3833 North Broadway, back in June. Looks like I better get back there soon and catch up on progress.

Way up north, 3833 North Broadway will be an eight-story, 134-unit apartment project, with ground floor retail space. The tower crane permit came through on September 6, and will be the first one on the Chicago count for DLG Development.


Another Power move in the West Loop, as the Hoxton Chicago plants its tower crane


Hoxton Chicago hotel tower crane stub

The Hoxton Chicago hotel got a tower crane stub on Friday.

On the heels of the crane planted last week at 900 West, Power Construction has struck again, this time planting a fresh tower crane stub for the Hoxton Chicago hotel. Permitted back on August 4, the stub was set into its foundation on Friday. No definitive word yet on when the rest of the crane will arrive, but expect it soon, even as foundation work continues.

Power is building the 12-story, 175-room hotel for developers Ennismore and Shapack Partners, and design architect GREC Architects. It’s expected to open in 2019. It will be the third U.S. Hoxton hotel, joining Manhattan, scheduled to open this fall, and Los Angeles, which opens next year.

Can you handle a slow-motion tower-crane stub drive-by?

Goose Island and Wicker Park team up for a Friday Flag, Tank, and Crane

Flag tank crane

A goose island water tank, back by an American Flag and a tower crane in Wicker Park.

Your Flag, Tank, and Crane shot for Friday, September 08 features:

The water tank at Carbit Paint, 927 West Blackhawk Street

The American Flag atop 1200 North Ashland Avenue

The tower crane working on the Wicker Park Connection, 1640 West Division Street

Carbit Paint water tank

A better view of the Carbit Paint water tank.

Wicker Park Connection Tower crane

A better view of the Wicker Park Connection tower crane, and the flag atop 1200 North Ashland.

Power Construction plants a tower crane at 900 West

900 West Tower Crane Stub

Is that what I think it is, peeking over the construction fence? Yep. 900 West has a tower crane stub.

Not all of the tower crane news coming out of the West Loop is bad.

A tower crane stub has been planted at 900 West Washington Boulevard, the site of 900 West. You may recall our mid-August visit when we stopped by to check on Caisson work. At the time, Power Construction had just received the full-build permit from the City of Chicago to erect the entire nine-story, 22-unit condominium project from Taris Real Estate.

One week later, on August 24, another permit came through, this time for the tower crane. Now, we don’t know exactly when the stub was planted (August 26 was the most recent day we’ve walked by until now) but lo and behold, there was the fresh stub on Tuesday. So, expect Power to send 900 West rocketing skyward now that they’ve got the heavy lifting covered.

Ordering two McDonald’s tower cranes to go

McDonald's Headquarters tower crane removal

A yellow street crane waits at the foot of East Crane, ready to bring her down.

Strong Chicago breezes kept Tuesday from being a sad day in the West Loop, but once those winds calm down, the two tower cranes at the McDonald’s Headquarters will be removed.

The Yellow Street Crane Of Doom was on-hand Tuesday, but couldn’t get started on East Crane because of conditions. Wednesday calls for lighter winds, so there’s a good chance crane removal will begin.

Both cranes were erected on the McDonald’s site back in February within a couple days of each other. McHugh Construction was said to be utilizing the top-down method, which allows the frame of the building to go up faster than normal. According to a story by Curbed at ground-breaking time, that shaved off about four months from the construction schedule. Now, a little over six months after the cranes went up, they’ve completed their duty, and it’s time for them to move on.


McDonald's Headquarters tower crane removal

The Stars & Stripes, and the Stars, fly just below the criss-crossing tower cranes at the McDonald’s HQ. Tuesday, September 5, 2017.

McDonald's Headquarters tower crane removal

More tower cranes, more patriotism.