The Loop continues to change, and I am always amazed at the transitions. For a location with the tallest building in America and a dense population of downtown workers, there is an awful lot of empty space. Today I’ll guide you through an interesting undeveloped parcel downtown in the Loop.
We will begin our tour on the corner of LaSalle and Congress. Here the blue line subway stop and the LaSalle St. Metra station are right next to each other and the brown/pink/purple/orange line L has stops nearby on Quincy and on Van Buren. You can see the proximity to the Willis Tower (neé Sears) north from this intersection as well.
A block from the Congress and LaSalle intersection there is an empty lot. It is adjacent to the Chicago River. At first glance it appears to be a park because people walk their dogs here. However it is for sale, and it is about 6 acres.
This is on the corner of Harrison and Wells.
As you can it is about 4 blocks to the Willis Tower and even closer to the Chicago Stock Exchange, Chicago Board of Trade, and the Chicago branch of the Federal Reserve.
The view looking northwest. The Willis tower is barely visible in the upper right hand corner.
Heading south towards Roosevelt there is an abandoned surface parking lot.
To the left is the grade seperated embankment for the Metra
I find it fascinating that there are undeveloped parcels so close to the intense development of downtown and the locus of transit in this area. Especially considering the parking restrictions in Downtown, having an empty parking lot is curious.
Additional reading: I'm trying to locate the site of the old Grand Central Station and see if it is still abandoned. It appears to be adjacent to the first lot we explored on Harrison and Wells and may very well be a parking lot, though I don't recall a lot on the opposite corner. Or that field may well be the former home of Grand Central. If you have any insight please let me know.