Helmut Jahn's design for a 1,001-foot South Loop apartment/condo tower arrived on the architectural scene with much excitement as Chicago appeared set to add multiple supertall buildings to its iconic skyline, joining Jeanne Gang's proposed Vista Tower in Lake Shore East. Jahn's new tower, along with Rafael Viñoly's 76-story vision for 113 E. Roosevelt, was heralded for bringing a transformative aesthetic balance to the horizon by bulking up the southern end of Grant Park with some much-needed height. Shaped like a giant exclamation mark with its upper portion comprised of three offset cantilevering glass boxes, Jahn's 86-story tower at 1000 S. Michigan Avenue was poised to become the city's fifth tallest, or sixth if Vista is built as planned. However, according to the Chicago development and building watchers at Skyscraperpage, Jahn's 1001-foot design may be whittled down to the non-supertall height of 823 feet — a move that would demote 1000 S. Michigan to 13th place on Chicago's current list of tall buildings.
While it was generally understood that the design would face some degree of refinement after renderings were first unveiled at a public meeting in October, the major height chop was not the result of a community-driven process but rather a deal reached between the Mayor's Office and the city's Landmarks Commission, according to the discussion on SkyscraperPage. Because the 1000 S. Michigan site is located within the Historic Michigan Boulevard District, a strict interpretation of the landmark guidelines would have meant that Jahn's design needed to be referential to the size and scale of the existing buildings along Michigan's protected streetwall between Randolph and Roosevelt. It's obvious there is a reasonable degree of flexibility built into the landmark rules or the plan would have never have been even considered in the first place, but how a still very tall 823-foot structure could satisfy these contextual requirements where as a 1001-footer was beyond the pale is certainly a bit perplexing. Fueling further speculation, the previously posted renderings of 1000 S. Michigan Avenue have disappeared from JAHN's official website.
·The New Class of Skyscrapers That Will Forever Change the Chicago Skyline [Curbed Chicago]
·Helmut Jahn May Be Working On a New South Loop Tower [Curbed Chicago]
·Previous South Loop Coverage [Curbed Chicago]