Chicago Suburbs Building Up, Not Out

Highrise in Chicago suburb
Highrise in Chicago suburb

Across the country, shiny new skyscrapers remain half-empty in struggling cities, vertical graveyards as testaments to overzealous development. Sure, suburbs have their own share of housing graveyards, but there used to be one big difference: those dead zones stretch out, as opposed to up.

Which is why it's such a surprise that a gleaming high-rise is going up in a Chicago suburb. Tony Oak Park is slated to get a 20-story, $85 million condo-hotel that will stand painfully close to several Frank Lloyd Wright creations, including his own small home and studio from his pre-Taliesin days.

Forget suburban sprawl. A Chicago Tribune blog post on the proposed Oak Park tower and others like it sprouting up in the Chicago suburbs calls it "the age of suburban tall."