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The Green Mile
An emerald-hued, 45-story residential tower designed by bKL Architecture may soon rise on Chicago's Michigan Avenue.
Courtesy bKL Architecture

200 North Michigan Avenue
Designer: bKL Architecture
Client: John Buck Company
Location: Chicago
Completion: TBD

A new skyscraper proposed for 200 North Michigan Avenue aims to stay true to the celebrated Chicago corridor’s sleek frontage, but breaks with the palette of dark steel and masonry that typifies the stretch of Michigan between the Chicago River and Millennium Park. Adjacent to the Daniel Burnham–designed Carbide and Carbon building, an emerald art deco landmark, bKL Architecture’s 45-story tower includes approximately 500,000 square feet of apartments and retail steps from the Magnificent Mile.

The John Buck Company is developing the project, which still must win approval. Alderman Brendan Reilly’s office has set the first community meeting to consider the matter for September 12.

The design of the new tower references its neighbor with green-tinted glass and a massing that shifts attention toward Michigan Avenue. Like the Carbide and Carbon Building, 200 North Michigan maintains a clean facade to the east, while pushing textural mullion patterns and balconies to the north and south.

Most of the apartment building’s units—predominantly one-bedrooms, with a mix of studios and two-bedrooms—will have balconies with south-facing views of Millennium Park or to the north towards the river. Amenities include a rooftop pool and a small north-facing terrace on top of the building’s five-story podium, which includes two floors of retail and three of parking.

In the current design, the facade is smooth glass over the entire elevation of the tower, but bKL is investigating articulations that would reference the height of nearby buildings.

Chris Bentley