Blair Kamin on River Point: Chicago's Curvy New Skyscraper
Chicago is a big dot on the architectural map because of its pre-eminent role in the invention of the office skyscraper, a development that transformed the skylines of cities worldwide. But thanks to the Great Recession, it's been seven years since a major downtown office building opened here. Now we have a new one, and its exuberant curves take full advantage of its prominent riverfront site.
River Point, as the 52-story office building at 444 W. Lake St. is known, has a clear kinship with 333 W. Wacker Drive, the great 1983 high-rise with curving green glass walls that exquisitely mark a bend in the Chicago River. Though River Point doesn't meet the high bar of its neighbor across the river, it enhances the waterfront with its sleekly sculpted form and an inviting 1.5-acre plaza.