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The Loop's CNA Center is ready to go skyward

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The 36-story office tower designed by John Ronan Architects is now above street level

CNA Center at 151 North Franklin is on the rise with structural steel and a reinforced concrete core now above street level. The 36 story office tower designed by John Ronan Architects will stand in at 820,000 square feet, of which CNA Financial will occupy 275,000 square feet for their new headquarters. The lease agreement with developer John Buck Company was a rather unusual one, in which CNA also sold their iconic red building at 333 South Wabash Avenue to John Buck. Buck will seek to retain other existing office tenants after CNA relocates while considering a potential change in use for the upper floors which have unobstructed views looking out across the rooftops of the Historic Michigan Boulevard District eastward towards Grant Park and Lake Michigan. The 1.1 million square foot, 44 story tower affectionately known as "Big Red" by many Chicagoans has served as CNA’s headquarters since completion in 1972.

While CNA leases back its current office space to John Buck Company, the new tower bearing their name is beginning to grow skyward with an anticipated completion date set for the summer of 2018. As the building has risen from the future basement level, a somewhat unique structure has taken shape along the street edge serving as a mounting for the tower crane.

The outermost two pieces of structural steel are to become part of the new office tower, while everything else is to be disassembled after the crane has come down. Word on the work site is that the crane will move across the intersection to 130 North Franklin after its current role is here finished, perhaps signaling that Tishman Speyer Properties could be looking to move forward on their Kreuck+Sexton designed office tower sometime next year.

The unique set up for the tower crane mounting allows for the crane to climb the exterior of the building while keeping all regular lanes of traffic flow open along Randolph Street.

CNA Ditching Red HQ for New John Ronan-Designed Tower [Curbed Chicago]

Construction to Begin on New Ronan-Designed Office Tower [Curbed Chicago]

Historic Michigan Boulevard District [Commission on Chicago Landmarks]

Angular Glass Tower at 130 North Franklin Moving Forward [Curbed Chicago]