Wednesday, January 24, 2007

From Junk to Trump

Donald Trump has decided to leave his mark on yet another city...our city. Great (can you sense the cynicism yet?). I am happy for the most part; this reinforces our place as a world class city, and a place worth living and working. It will provide some (no doubt) beautiful new apartments for sale, which will have a breathtaking view of the lake, skyline, and miles beyond. I am equally happy that the new 2nd tallest building in the city forced the wrecking ball upon the building that was formerly at this prime, riverfront site, the Sun-Times building:

This has been an eyesore for as long as I have been coming downtown for the last 10 years or so. It's strange mid 20th century appeal had long run out, especially when placed against the historic Wrigley Building, adjacent to it, and the other miscellaneous glass and steel sprouting up in the River North area in the last two decades. Ironically, Marina City, just down the block, comes from a similar era, but is infinitely more pleasing to the eye.

My previous cynical attitude would likely be drawn from the name associated with this new high rise. I don't dislike Donald Trump by any means. He has certainly made a mark (or a stain?!) in many cities. I just think his tactics are a bit shrewd for my taste. Call me naive if you want. I have a good sense of what it takes to get things done in the business world; I just might not agree with it on a personal level.

The Trump Hotel and Tower, when finished will be the second tallest building in the city, next to the Sears Tower, and will have the highest living quarters in the entire world (89th floor) which breaks the current record held by the Hancock Center just 10 blocks north. The bottom half will comprise the hotel portion. With our current endeavor of going after the Olympics in 2012, we will need all the hotel space we can get! Skidmore, Owings and Merril are the architects; known most locally for the Sears Tower and the John Hancock Center. The form is quite Sears Tower-esque, I would say, however the glazing is much brighter.
Sears Tower

John Hancock Center

Progress as of Last Fall

I have been amazed at the progress; it seemed to start slow in March of 2005, but the canyon is rising at an extremely fast pace and is closing in on Kinzie Street at Wabash. I keep daily tabs on it when on my way to and from work, and it's beginning to remind me of the LaSalle Street financial district, the way it almost terminantes the street there. Mostly just an optical illusion, I guess.

But here we are, and it is set to be completed by sometime in 2008. Our skyline of blacks, reds, greys, and whites will have a brilliant shining jewel, front and center if you are viewing from the lake. Let's hope it takes its time in becoming the new icon of the city. We already have the Bean for that...

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