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A Chronicle of Streeterville Construction & Demolition

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Curbed shot through Streeterville Sunday to collect a compendium of construction updates. The neighborhood is pushing forward on three big projects— one almost complete; another nearly topped-out; and a third in infancy. On the flip side, the doomed Old Prentice Memorial Hospital is sheathed in scaffolding and being eaten from within.

The Loews Hotel Tower is the tallest building and most potent infill currently under construction in Streeterville. The 400-room, 398-apartment tower is relieving the area of an enormous surface lot and adding just 230 garage spaces (albeit in a horrifically clunky attached structure). The tower looks to be within a dozen stories of its eventual 53-story height.

Around the corner on Fairbanks is the new Northwestern Outpatient Care Pavilion, getting the finishing touches put on. The building looks strikingly like its rendering, but when you go this plain and cheap it's less of a feat. At 24 stories and 400-feet, it would make a serious impression on the nabe except that it's pretty tightly wedged into a large mass of medical campus anonymity. Just a few months from delivery, the outpatient facility is projected to add around 600 jobs.

One block east is foundation work for what promises to be a more cutting edge and aesthetically pleasing piece of architecture— the new high-tech Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago building. The eyeball test gives us nothing but the rendering reminds of plans for a 27-story glassy structure with 900,000 square feet, 242 patient beds, and 680 garage parking spaces. Earlier this year, neighbors demanded a design upgrade and got one— an instructive event that we hope emboldens other reasonable detractors elsewhere. Completion is scheduled for fall 2016.

Lastly, while we all know the fate that awaits Bertrand Goldberg's Old Prentice Women's Hospital it's still a stab to the heart to see scaffolding expand to encase the concrete cloverleaf and the podium begin to be pieced apart. Northwestern is conducting the business of demolition at grueling pace— it could be another year before Prentice is flattened. We do have an idea of the bio-med facility destined to replace the building, and it's going to fall short architecturally. That doesn't mean it won't have its own brand of excitement, but first Northwestern must select the best of three finalist designs and refrain from tweaking it to mush.
·Streeterville's Mixed-Use Loews Tower Steps Up Its Game [Curbed Chicago]
·First Visit to Northwestern's New Outpatient Care Pavilion [Curbed Chicago]
·Construction Timeline in Place for New RIC Building [Curbed Chicago]
·BREAKING: Northwestern Unveils Bids for Prentice Replacement [Curbed Chicago]
·Prentice Women's Hospital Coverage [Curbed Chicago]