A few muscular buildings are in the site prep stage on the Near North Side, with a 35-story apartment tower at State & Chestnut and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago's new medical building getting the most buzz. Meanwhile, a somewhat smaller development on Illinois near Franklin will make at least as much of a mark on the streetscape. The pending apartment building will rise 25 stories (250') and deliver 188 units and 176 parking spaces. A project of Illinois Franklin Associates and Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture, it's hard to tell from the one available rendering wether the building is unremittingly ugly or just poorly lit. The good news is Hartshorne Plunkard has designed high-rises in River North before and another of their modern glass and concrete slabs isn't something to fear. We're compelled to observe, however, that this tower's parking podium alone meets or exceeds the height of Illinois Street's older buildings. Notice also the frayed firehouse at the western edge of the site. Original developer JDL Acquisitions agreed to be its custodian and restore it to prideful use in exchange for extra height in the approved apartment plan. That landmark 'adoption' has been passed to Illinois Franklin Associates. Six years after city approval, let's hope for a newfound expeditiousness in this project's construction.
·Surprise! Tower Plan Returns to Illinois & Franklin [Curbed Chicago]
·What's Going on at 212 West Illinois Street? [Chicago Architecture Blog]