When you approach the ballpark these days, you see a strange sight that you might only expect to see downtown, in Streeterville, or perhaps in the West or South Loop. Cranes loom high above Addison and Clark. It's odd to see them in a Chicago neighborhood.
The blocks around Wrigley Field are changing in a way that will make Wrigleyville look like a small city unto itself. No longer the feeling of a small ballpark, as opposed to a stadium, nestled among typical Chicago retail and residential buildings that you might find in, say, Avondale, Lincoln Square, or Albany Park.
Two major projects account for most of this, the Zachary Hotel along Clark between Addison and Patterson (where the McDonald's used to be), a Cubs project set to open next year; and Addison & Clark, a massive building that tucks around Sports World and the auto shop on Addison. They could well have called it "Addison & Clark & Sheffield" because the building will have frontages on all three streets. These along with the new Cubs headquarters building at Waveland and Clark will give the Clark and Addison sides of the ballpark a distinctly glass and steel feeling, as opposed to brick, limestone, and aluminum siding.
As we wait for the Cubs to begin playing baseball again (tomorrow, February 25, 2:00pm on WGN!), let's take a look at how the "Cranes of Wrigleyville" have already changed the neighborhood.
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