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The Chicago skyline is littered with dozens of tower cranes

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Construction crews are currently working with 33 active tower cranes throughout the city

Construction of the future CH Robinson HQ along the Chicago River’s North Branch.
Curbed Chicago Flickr pool/Urbsinhorto1837

Chicago began the summer with 33 active tower cranes in the sky, and the city begins autumn with, well, 33 active tower cranes. This week, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that city builders and developers have surpassed last year’s post-recession record of active tower cranes in one year. According to the mayor, 54 tower cranes have worked on high-rise construction projects around the city this year. Around this same time last year, the city counted 48 tower cranes operating throughout 2016.

A flood of new tower project have wrapped up this year and according to Building Up Chicago, 23 tower cranes have been dismantled and removed from construction sites in 2017. Still, there are permits out for at least a few more tower cranes. Tower cranes can be spotted all over the city, but are typically used for larger projects. Building Up Chicago has a complete list of each active tower crane and what project they are working on.

In terms of booming areas for high-rise construction, the West Loop, South Loop, and River North have been some of the hottest areas during this development cycle. There’s also been a flurry of activity along Milwaukee Avenue in recent years. In revisiting our map of active high-rise (100’ or taller) construction sites earlier this month, we counted 54 such projects underway.