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Waldorf-Astoria (Chicago)


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Jun 17, 2007
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Waldorf-Astoria (Chicago) 100 floors | 1109 ft


Rendering courtesy of spyguy at SSP

Developer Tries Comeback With New Chicago Waldorf
September 27, 2007; Page B1

.....Now Mr. Reschke is mounting a big comeback, with $2 billion worth of projects planned or under construction. The most prestigious is a Waldorf-Astoria hotel and residence towers in Chicago that he plans to develop for Hilton Hotels Corp. The $500 million project will offer 325 rooms in a five-star hotel and 300 luxury condominiums in a sleek modern building about a block from the Chicago River.....
[Chicago is] ... a market that every hotel brand in the world wants to be in"

David Greydanus, Senior Vice President
Hilton's Waldorf-Astoria Collection​

A bold quote indeed, especially at this time when so many developers are going residential in that city, and will be pushing for multiple loan sources for each of their sites. The mixed-use hedge, moreover, is omnipresent whenever these proposals begin, but usually it is the residential builder, not the hotelier, that proposes the mix-use. The times they are a changin'.

If this lone render is any indication - no architect has been announced - this may be an exciting development on the horizon. But at the moment it appears to be only a glint in someone's eye.
September 28, 2007

Here are two panoramic shots from the site today. Nothing really special, just a parking lot currently.

Looking north-northeast

Looking northwest. Trump Tower is on the far left.
Finally - More than a Peak

Thanks SolarWind, and BVictor1 for that matter.

My initial reactions to the top, when first presented, were quite positive, and now we get to see more. One immediate surprise is that double edge on the top is not what I had believed, we never had any indication of these broadsides now revealed. But is this building identical for both broadsides? I guess it is, since the three different renderings suggest that, but what makes me not completely certain is the peculiarly unchanged perspective of the building itself, as the buildings around it change. It is as if the building were rendered from the same perspective three times, then the fill consisted of the different views. Moreover, the reflections off the building don't help us to determine what we are seeing.

Honestly, the V shape tapered top on a glass building is not as exciting as I had hoped, since there is already precedent for this in existing proposals, and at least one building that is under construction on the East Coast of the states. At one time, I had thought this was going to be more daring, with the top of the structure tapering to an off-center point, somewhat like the top of an ice cream swirl. Nevertheless, this is still a clean and elegant structure from what we can see, and I look forward to finding out more.
Almost a clone of the Shanghai World Finance Center.

Good catch wylie,' and there are others like this as well.

Will be interesting to see what subsequent renders of the inevitable version changes will bring. If I know the Chicago Architecture critics, they will also point out what we are seeing here, and consequently alert the Architect/Developer that they had better look at this design again. After all, this building is physically near both of the main newspapers of that city, and that is usually enough to get their immediate scrutiny.
The following has been pulled from the website of the firm that is apparently contracted to design this tower - De Stefano + Partners.

The Waldorf=Astoria Hotel and Residential Tower
Waldorf=Astoria Hotels are members of Hilton Hotels Corporation

"… tower tapers asymmetrically to create the illusion of a twisting form …"
Pale Blue is W=A; Tallest Building is Chicago Spire U/C


Original photographs copyrighted to De Stefano + Partners*

This 100 storey building is now projected to include: 325 condominiums, 325 hotel rooms, banquet hall, meeting rooms, restaurants and underground parking.

* - Source jpg posted at SSP courtesy of spyguy
Although BVictor1 is an Emporis photographer, he often posts his photos on several sites. Above, Solar Wind uses one of the pictures in this set. These were originally posted on either or both the SSP and SSC websites. The models are from the Developer / Architectural Firm, respectively, Fordham Company / De Stefano + Partners:


What follows was composed in the same time frame as Ms. Forsyth's piece, quoted in Solar Wind's post above. David Roeder, the real estate columnist for Chicago Sun-Times, has long been an opponent of the Chicago Spire but has recently backed off a bit when that Calatrava building cleared its final approval gauntlet and went into the construction phase. Christopher Carley was involved with both Chicago Spire (then known as Fordham Spire) and now the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel and Residential Tower.

A kid bro in Spire's shadow

September 28, 2007
Chicago Sun-Times

A developer is showing plans for a 100-story hotel and residential tower for Streeterville that, if built, would look like a little brother of the proposed Chicago Spire.

Christopher Carley, chairman of Fordham Co., wants the building placed north of the Sheraton Chicago hotel that's along the Chicago River. Carley bought the site during the summer and has formed a partnership with another Chicago developer of note, Michael Reschke.

At about 1,100 feet, the building would be shorter than such skyline titans as the John Hancock Center or even the new Trump Tower. But it would command attention and be only a couple of blocks from the proposed spire, a 2,000-foot composition of celebrity architect Santiago Calatrava.

... Carley used to own the spire property along Lake Shore Drive and interested Calatrava in the site before being bought out ...

For the new site, Carley said he's appropriated some ideas from his attempt at the Calatrava deal. ...

Waldorf-Astoria, a Hilton Hotels Corp. brand, has agreed to run the hotel as part of a limited national expansion of its legendary Manhattan name. Other Waldorf-Astorias are planned or under construction in Beverly Hills, Calif., and Orlando, Fla.

While decidedly upscale, the Carley site has more limited ambitions than the spire. The spire's developer is using Calatrava's reputation to market the units internationally and the prices could start at $1,200 a square foot.

Carley said his sales will come locally, and he's aiming for around $800 a square foot, still near the top for the market.

His architect is Chicago-based DeStefano & Partners, which got instructions not to imitate the spire but to give it a "tip of the cap," as Carley put it. The result was a building that toward the bottom has a conventional square shape but sharpens to a scalpel at the top.

Citing the long-term nature of the project, Carley said he's not overly worried about the steep slowdown in housing. "The market's down now, but that's not a bad time to plan something like this. I'd rather ride the market on its way up," he said.

Construction could start in early 2009 and last three years, he said. Timetables depend on advance sales. ...

His argument for building tall rests on the "thin is in" ethic that has taken hold in Chicago planning circles and with Mayor Daley. It's a belief that tall, skinny buildings block fewer views and less light than a shorter building containing the same square footage...

Reschke is chairman of Prime Group Inc. and represented Waldorf-Astoria in the partnership with Carley. Reschke has a minority stake in the venture, Carley said.

Waldorf=Astoria Chicago Proposal when compared to other Chicago Buildings

Chicago's Tallest Buildings - Proposed, Approved, Under Construction or Built

Courtesy SSP-Waldorf=Astoria / cactus22minus1, Alliance, bnk
Twisting towers seem to be getting more popular.. that's a really sharp looking building. In Chi-town it seems that buildings pretty much have to be over 1000' to stand out on the skyline.

Chicago is starting to look like a sci-fi city.