HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForumSkyscraper Posters
     
Welcome to the SkyscraperPage Forum

Since 1999, the SkyscraperPage Forum has been one of the most active skyscraper enthusiast communities on the web. The global membership discusses development news and construction activity on projects from around the world, alongside discussions on urban design, architecture, transportation and many other topics. Welcome!

You are currently browsing as a guest. Register with the SkyscraperPage Forum and join this growing community of skyscraper enthusiasts. Registering has benefits such as fewer ads, the ability to post messages, private messaging and more.

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Discussion Forums > Buildings & Architecture > Completed Project Threads Archive

 

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
  #1  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2006, 8:23 PM
Steely Dan's Avatar
Steely Dan Steely Dan is offline
born again cyclist
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Style City
Posts: 14,961
Cool CHICAGO | BCBS | Vertical Expansion (25 new floors) | 743 FT / 226 M | 57 FL

source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...i-business-hed

24 more stories coming to Blue Cross building

By Bruce Japsen
Tribune staff reporter
Published July 26, 2006


In an unusual corporate expansion, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois will add 24 floors on the top of its headquarters on East Randolph Street to accommodate the health insurer's rapid growth.

At a cost of $270 million, Health Care Service Corp., parent of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, said Tuesday that construction will begin early next year at 300 E. Randolph, the dual headquarters of the Illinois Blue Cross division and Health Care Service, pending approval of various permits.

The existing 33-story building already has 30 floors above ground on prime real estate located just east of Aon Center on the northern edge of Grant Park.

Health Care Service built it in 1997 at a cost of $233 million, engineering it so it would have the ability to add to the top if expansion warranted.

The building is now 466 feet high from its base and will rise to an estimated 796 feet.

The structure was originally designed by Chicago architect James Goettsch to accommodate 24 additional stories to meet an expected need for more office space, the insurer said. Thus, the skyscraper will reach its designed height of 57 stories upon completion in 2010.

"It is very unusual for a company to prepare for growth several years ahead of time," said Pauline Saliga, director of the Society of Architectural Historians in Chicago. "This is a very unusual thing to do and I cannot think of another case. It was pretty good planning on their part that they saw such growth in their future."

"They may alter an attic space or add a couple of stories but there is generally not an expansion like this in a major landmark building," Saliga said of the Blue Cross headquarters.

Saliga said most corporate expansions usually involve an annex near the main building or a tower erected nearby that allows one building to be connected to another through a bridge much like the famous Wrigley Building, she said.

Health Care Service, now the nation's fourth-largest health insurance company, has certainly made good on its intentions to grow. Since 1997 it has expanded rapidly, growing its membership organically as well as through mergers and acquisitions. The Health Care Service umbrella now includes Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurance plans in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma.

"This project to complete our corporate and Illinois division headquarters building is a reflection of HCSC's tremendous growth from 3 million members in 1997 to 11 million members today, and a demonstration of our commitment to the city of Chicago," said Ray McCaskey, president and chief executive officer of HCSC.

The company expects to continue to grow and McCaskey has said in previous interviews that the company is open to adding more members through mergers and acquisitions. Unlike many of its major rivals in the health insurance industry that are publicly traded and owned by investors, Health Care Service is a mutual insurance company and therefore is owned by policyholders.

Health Care Service said the building expansion will allow for the number of people who work at 300 E. Randolph to double from about 4,200 to 8,000.

However, only about half of the additional workers will be Health Care Service employees, including an undisclosed number now in offices at various locations in Chicago.

Health Care Service officials estimate that about half of the new 24 floors will be leased to outside tenants not affiliated with the giant health insurance company.

"We are planning on leasing some of the space to other companies," said Jack Segal, vice president of public affairs for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois.

News of another corporate expansion in downtown Chicago was greeted with a warm reception at City Hall. United Airlines earlier this month announced that it will move its global headquarters to downtown Chicago.

"We are pleased that HCSC and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois will be expanding their headquarters here," Lori T. Healey, commissioner of the City Department of Planning and Development, said Tuesday. "In addition to keeping jobs in the city, this is yet another example of a major corporation committed to calling Chicago home."





existing:


image courtesy of NewcitySkyline




new:


image courtesy of NewcitySkyline





more info available @ NewcitySkyline




.

Last edited by Steely Dan; Jul 28, 2006 at 8:19 PM.
     
     
  #2  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2006, 8:28 PM
Dale Dale is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Orlando
Posts: 3,261
WOWSER! I didn't see this one coming. I thought it had been deferred indefinately.

This is one of my Chicago favorites.
     
     
  #3  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2006, 8:31 PM
Steely Dan's Avatar
Steely Dan Steely Dan is offline
born again cyclist
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Style City
Posts: 14,961
keep in mind that there is a fair bit of confusion regarding the final height because all the newspaper articles have been quoting heights taken from the basment, but we all know that's a silly way of doing it. the 741' height figure in the title of this thread reflects the height from the sidewalk on upper randolph as best as we can figure it at this point. the 796' height figure in the article is taken from the basement.
     
     
  #4  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2006, 8:42 PM
StormFire StormFire is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Chicago
Posts: 62
What does everyone think of this building? Great location - which is too bad b/c I always thought (in my unprofessional opinion) that the BCBS building is somewhat bland/average and bordering on ugly. I had always hoped that the planned expansion would help out somehow, but based on the above picuture it looks like more of the same. Comments?
     
     
  #5  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2006, 8:42 PM
Jularc's Avatar
Jularc Jularc is offline
Time/Space
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: New York City
Posts: 5,364
That is so cool. So I wonder if the company will still be using the tower while adding the expansion or will they move temporary to another office building. It will be interesting to see how they will handle this and to see the new addition in progress.

Also have anyone told the Aqua new buyers of this proposed expansion? Some of the Aqua top floors views will be affected. Isn't Aqua somewhere behind this tower?
     
     
  #6  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2006, 8:43 PM
spyguy's Avatar
spyguy spyguy is offline
THAT Guy
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5,022
I think the 741' is closest to being correct. Using this rendering and comparing it to existing buildings, like Aon and Pru, you end up with something like 730' roughly but nothing close to 800'.
     
     
  #7  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2006, 8:47 PM
SimbyHeart SimbyHeart is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Chicago
Posts: 85
Wow, move over Hong Kong. I hope it rises fast, what will the new floors be steel or concrete?

Thats gonna be one amazing cluster there.
     
     
  #8  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2006, 8:48 PM
Busy Bee's Avatar
Busy Bee Busy Bee is offline
Exhale solutions.
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,976
Response to StormFire:


^It might have more to do with the fact that all engineering documents and architectural plans for the expansion were completed and finalized back when the originally building was begun. It's my understanding that it was known from the beginning that the expansion would look just like the first phase. If they were going to change it up a bit now and add some flair that would mean BSBS would have to hire the service of an architecture firm and needed engineering. Why pay another 5 million or more when they already have everything they need for an expansion?

I understand what you mean though. It is sort of unfortunate that the building is so conservative for its' location.
__________________
Nothing useless can be truly beautiful. -W.Morris | Nothing Need be Ugly

Last edited by Busy Bee; Jul 27, 2006 at 8:53 PM.
     
     
  #9  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2006, 8:53 PM
Steely Dan's Avatar
Steely Dan Steely Dan is offline
born again cyclist
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Style City
Posts: 14,961
busy bee and stormfire, you guys really don't like BCBS? that's surprising. it might not be an out and out mastepiece, but i've always considered it quite a successful tower, even in its currently stubby form. this vertical elongation is only going to increase the beauty of this one. and it will be especially interesting to see how they pull it off.
     
     
  #10  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2006, 8:54 PM
kayosthery kayosthery is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 286
I spoke with a project manager who worked on the original construction of the building today. When asked what would happen to the atrium, he stated that it remains the same the entire way up. Now, I've never been inside the building so I don't know if that is good or bad. I just remember some people in here were curious or concerned that it might stop.
__________________
Paper is fine, nerf Rock. Signed - Scissors.
     
     
  #11  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2006, 8:57 PM
Marvel 33's Avatar
Marvel 33 Marvel 33 is offline
"The World is my Oyster"
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Chicago
Posts: 943
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steely Dan
^ thanks mario. the rendering is being added to page 1.

a few things though, your article on newcityskyline seems to be reporting the same innaccuracies as the newspapers regarding the height of the building. emporis has it listed as 411'/32 floors existing, not 466'/33 floors as all of the articles have claimed. it is possible that emporis' datat on the existing building is wrong, but i'm willing to bet that it ain't, knowing the chicago editors' penchant for accuracy in their data.

so for now, i'm still listing this proposal as 741'/56 floors after making the neccessary mathematical adjustments.


Steely,

The reason why there are inconsistencies is because there are indeed two different versions as far as the floor count.

According to the Health Care Service Corporation’s Press Release, the existing building has 24 floors and they’re adding 33 new floors.

The architect, Goettsch Partners sees the current building as having 32 floors and they would be adding 25 new floors.

Either way, the building will ended up with 57 floors and the height they gave us is accurate according to Matt Larson, Director of Business Development at Goettsch Partners.

Tiffany, our Chief Editor spoke with him this morning and we just called him again to confirm the information he gave us was correct and he said it was.

However, they're measuring the structure from the basement, not from the sidewalk.



That was the conversation Steely and I had earlier. We are getting the exact height from the ground tomorrow.

In the mean time we added to our article that the height they gave us is from the basement:

http://www.newcityskyline.com/BCBSExtension.html
__________________
CHICAGO
Also known as:
The Windy City - The City of Broad Shoulders - Chitown - City in a Garden - Gem of the Prairie - Second City - The "I Will" City
_________________________________
Architectural News At: NewcitySkyline.com
     
     
  #12  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2006, 8:58 PM
SimbyHeart SimbyHeart is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Chicago
Posts: 85
Wow, move over Hong Kong. I hope it rises fast, what will the new floors be steel or concrete?

Thats gonna be one amazing cluster there.
     
     
  #13  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2006, 9:02 PM
Dale Dale is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Orlando
Posts: 3,261
I think what I'm learning here is that the Chicago skyline would be especially awe-inspiring if one could only survey it from basement level.
     
     
  #14  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2006, 10:04 PM
honte honte is offline
Registered
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Chicago - every nook and cranny
Posts: 4,628
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale
I think what I'm learning here is that the Chicago skyline would be especially awe-inspiring if one could only survey it from basement level.
This is true. We get a bit screwed by Wacker and the Illinois Center in the height department. No matter, not having the giant parking podiums is certainly worth conceding 50 feet in the somewhat silly game of height figures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steely Dan
busy bee and stormfire, you guys really don't like BCBS? that's surprising. it might not be an out and out mastepiece, but i've always considered it quite a successful tower, even in its currently stubby form. this vertical elongation is only going to increase the beauty of this one. and it will be especially interesting to see how they pull it off.
I agree that the expansion is really going to help this thing visually. I consider it to be a highly successful building in detail - one of the best-detailed buildings built here in the 90s - but the overall design is lacking. And it's just so entirely massive.

But a number of people put it in their top 10 in Chicago, which I just don't understand. Even 1 S. Wacker and 111 S. Wacker, by the same firm, rank far higher in my book.
     
     
  #15  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2006, 10:27 PM
Marvel 33's Avatar
Marvel 33 Marvel 33 is offline
"The World is my Oyster"
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Chicago
Posts: 943
Ok, here is the actual and accurate height: 743' 1" from Randolph Street to the top and 47' 6" below Randolph.

Just got the numbers from the architect.
__________________
CHICAGO
Also known as:
The Windy City - The City of Broad Shoulders - Chitown - City in a Garden - Gem of the Prairie - Second City - The "I Will" City
_________________________________
Architectural News At: NewcitySkyline.com
     
     
  #16  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2006, 10:33 PM
Chicago3rd Chicago3rd is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Providence, Rhode Island
Posts: 8,659
So does the AON get lopped off because it is on the 3rd level of Randolph and Columbus?

Personally BCBS in my book will have the height that is from the ground to the north up.....lol. But I am nobody...

This building......it looks to be blah..but it really does have so much going for it. It does not photography positivily. But its color and lines...and cleanliness..its ability to shine from inside at night...it is one of my favorites.

My only concern with it is it appears in the new rendering to pull AON down a little....the thrust of AON isn't as severe...which was to me a selling point when looking at it.
__________________
All the photos "I" post are photos taken by me and can be found on my photo pages @ http://wilbsnodgrassiii.smugmug.com// UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED and CREDITED.
     
     
  #17  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2006, 11:25 PM
Steely Dan's Avatar
Steely Dan Steely Dan is offline
born again cyclist
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Style City
Posts: 14,961
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvel 33
Ok, here is the actual and accurate height: 743' 1" from Randolph Street to the top and 47' 6" below Randolph.

Just got the numbers from the architect.
fantastic, i'll make the neccessary changes. did you by any chance get the official story count above randolph figured out? is this a 24 or a 25 story addition?





Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago3rd
S
My only concern with it is it appears in the new rendering to pull AON down a little....the thrust of AON isn't as severe...which was to me a selling point when looking at it.
the rendering at the top of this thread definitely has some vertical axis shortening going on. even with the new vertical addition to BCBS, there's no way that aon could ever be that stubby.
     
     
  #18  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2006, 11:28 PM
spyguy's Avatar
spyguy spyguy is offline
THAT Guy
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5,022
^Of course add Aqua, "Aqua II," and Mandarin Oriental and that might change a little. But like someone else said, this is going to be one of the tallest clusters in the world.
     
     
  #19  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2006, 1:00 AM
honte honte is offline
Registered
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Chicago - every nook and cranny
Posts: 4,628
Quote:
Originally Posted by spyguy
^Of course add Aqua, "Aqua II," and Mandarin Oriental and that might change a little. But like someone else said, this is going to be one of the tallest clusters in the world.
I was just thinking that last night when I drove past there. Not just the tallest, but I'd guess one of the densest (even with all of the plazas). Is it possible to compare - say, with emporis - the total square footage per square foot of land? It would be very interesting to see how this area would rank if all of these buildings were built. I think if you worked the numbers right, this would be pretty high up there.

And all this with no el stop in the immediate vicinity. For shame!

Last edited by honte; Jul 28, 2006 at 1:08 AM.
     
     
  #20  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2006, 1:21 AM
HK Chicago HK Chicago is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 987
Quote:
The architect, Goettsch Partners sees the current building as having 32 floors and they would be adding 25 new floors
Cool that Goettsch P kept the project, even with Lohan moving on.

I hope the atrium stays because it also effects the outer appearance... much more light enters and leaves the tower with the atrium. I fell in love with the night view of this one from my old apt at 400 McClurg, and it's on my top 25 in the Chicago 300'+ category.
     
     
This discussion thread continues

Use the page links to the lower-right to go to the next page for additional posts
   
 

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Discussion Forums > Buildings & Architecture > Completed Project Threads Archive
Forum Jump


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 2:16 AM.

     

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.