Buildings That Never Were!

I was in the Loop and saw that Loehmann’s in the Joffrey Tower is closing today.  It made me start to think about all of the businesses and buildings that might have been!


Long before the Joffrey Tower was built there was another building that was to be built on that corner, namely a two story Mariano’s Market Hall food emporium with a 26 story residential tower on the site as well.  I was chosen as the broker for the residences, and Lucien Lagrange designed a beautiful building.  The market was strong, and I had already sold around half of the residential units when there were complications with the city and things just fell through.

I sometimes wonder what the skyline would look like if all the buildings that never were had gone up as planned.




Just think about some of the notable additions to Chicago’s skyline that could have been.  Imagine if the Mandarin Oriental Hotel had gone up.  It was going to be over 900 feet tall, with a very interesting design. 







Of course, we’ll never forget the Chicago Spire, which would have been record setting at 2000 feet tall and would have been world-renowned.

Chicago20Spire X.jpg





And what an interesting sight it would have been to see the Fourth Presbyterian Tower go up on a small sliver of land at the back of the church’s property.






Finally, on the Southside, there was a great looking building called the XO that Would have been a nice and unique addition to its Near Southside neighborhood.



Recently it was announced that Mr. Mariano will be having the last laugh, with a new Mariano’s food emporium going up around Randolph and Columbus and additional markets out in the suburbs.  There isn’t a nicer guy to work with, and I guess it shows that it all works out in the end!





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  • Hi- Great article! Some of these buildings I remember reading about and then never heard what happened to them. If I, say, wanted to find out more where could I get more information?

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