Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin casts his gaze on two recently-built apartment towers that have a lot in common: 215 West and 200 Squared were both designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz, and they both "have names that strive desperately to make them sound hip." The similarities don't end there. The two high-rises are located just two blocks apart, and they both overlook the Wells Street elevated tracks. Proximity to the 'L' would make both buildings good candidates for "transit-oriented" development (indeed, the developers of both buildings have described them as "transit-oriented"), but, as Kamin notes, "their parking garages contain far more spaces than their residents will ever need," encouraging tenants to drive. Overall, Kamin finds both buildings to be rather bland, but because the bar is set so low for rental buildings, he gives them tepid approval.
· Apartment high-rises are above average, but nothing special [Cityscapes]