This week, the “Dead by Design” series of cancelled Chicago towers will focus its spotlight on One North Wacker Drive, an 83-story office tower in The Loop. In 1989, real estate developer Harvey Walken first proposed the 1,276-foot edifice, which at the time would have made it fourth tallest in the world behind only the Sears (now Willis) Tower and New York’s twin towers.
Dead by Design
Next in our procession of unbuilt Chicago skyscrapers is the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and Residence Tower, a 107-story supertall that would have been located along North Park Drive, less than a block from the river in Streeterville. Compared to existing Chicago structures, if built, the mixed-use project would have been the third tallest in the city with a 1,265-foot height. More broadly, if it were built at the time of its proposal in 2007, it would have been the seventh tallest in the world. The Prime Group in partnership with Fordham Co. had planned for a three-year construction timeline starting in 2009 and wrapping up in 2012.
Chicago’s formative architectural history is not always visible if one were to walk around. Much like the city’s dozens of demolished high rises (more on that later), the never-built can also influence the realm of architecture despite lacking a physical presence. That is why every Sunday leading up to Halloween, YIMBY will cover a cancelled tower of increasing height, what lead to its demise, and what it might have looked like on the skyline. The model screenshots will retain previous weeks’ towers, though they will not be carried over to standard posts.