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Checking-in on Norman Foster’s new Michigan Avenue Apple store

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The Prairie-inspired store’s glass walls started arriving on-site about a week ago

Photos by Harry Carmichael

Since we last took a look at Chicago’s upcoming flagship Apple store in late November, the riverfront project has made considerable progress. The 20,000-square-foot building designed by London-based Foster + Partners has added the skeleton of its broad, Prairie School-inspired roof and—even more recently—some glass.

Under construction since March, the new retail space will anchor the southern edge of Michigan Avenue’s Pioneer Court and activate the plaza’s river frontage with a new staircase and sunken promenade. Apple’s current Mag Mile location five blocks to the north is expected to close when the new building opens sometime later this year.

The area around Pioneer Court has been abuzz with construction activity with crews taking full advantage of Chicago’s relatively mild winter. To the north and east, a pair of 500-foot apartment towers at 465 North Park are 220 East Illinois are climbing skyward.

Meanwhile, directly across the river, work continues on a new retail space along Wacker Drive at Illinois Center as well as on the 1,186-foot supertall Vista Tower.

Rendering by Foster + Partners