Construction crews are getting down… into the funky funky stuff that passes for dirt in Streeterville as they lay the groundwork for Northwestern University’s new biomedical research tower at 303 East Superior Street.
If you’re not tall enough to see over the purple painted walls, or lucky enough to have an office overlooking the construction, you might not be aware that progress is being made below grade.
Doctor Robert Vogelzang is one of those people lucky enough to have a view of the action, and he sent us the photos above and below showing how far things have come since a bulbous hospital named Prentice once occupied this space.
The basement has been excavated, and pilings have been drilled. Most of the action appears to be along the retaining walls, which are more than your average sheetpile. Those appear to be reinforced with concrete, and then re-reinforced with ranks of temporary metal piping.
For those of you more interested in elevation than excavation, there is a little stub of a crane in the northwest corner waiting for its moment to shine.