Friday, August 30, 2013

Sending Pegasus Aflight : Preliminary bKL design revealed for Buck Tower at 200 North Michigan

rendering: bKL Architecture
Chris Bentley of The Architects Newspaper today gave us the first look at a preliminary design by bKL Architecture for the 45-story residential tower John Buck is looking to construct at 200 North Michigan.  There's no full-up view of the building, but the street level rendering published by Bentley has a definite 1950's, almost Lapidusian vibe, the tower set back on at least three sides from a diaphanous, greenish-blue, shifting toward turquoise base.
The site is currently occupied by the six-story Tobey Building, by Holabird and Root, dating from 1927.  Although faded, it was originally a fairly elegant design, as you can see from this photo from 1964, when both this stretch of Michigan and Zenith televisions were prestige brands.
image courtesy The Chuckman Collection
Along the top of the building is a sequence of engaging relief panels . . .

including the aforementioned winged horse . . .
According to a July report by Micah Maidenberg in Crain's Chicago Business, the building was acquired for $20 million in 2006 by an affiliate of Becker Ventures LLC (no relation, alas), which is Buck's partner on this project.  No word on a groundbreaking date.  The development needs to win the approval of local Alderman Brendan Reilly, who Bentley reports has set his first community meeting to consider the development for September 12.

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