The Chicago Spire’s A Go. Let the Worries Begin!


In local news, but one you might find interesting if you’ve been following our continued coverage of it: the Tribune reports that the Santiago Calatrava building, the Chicago Spire, has been approved by the city to be built as is currently planned and construction will begin in the near future. If you haven’t gotten enough already the Trib piece goes into the overwhelming undertaking it will be to put up what will become the largest building in the country and how it will fit into a very, very modern looking skyline. Here’s some:

No one has ever built a twisting tower this tall, though a smaller version of this type is under construction in Dubai. For all the allure of Calatrava’s architectural models, the Spire they show is as much an abstract sculpture as it is a real building. One wonders how the stunning geometry will look when everyday necessities — windows, for instance — intrude.

At best, this will be a new Eiffel Tower, a scale-shattering yet superb skyline statement that becomes the new postcard image of Chicago.

At worst, as less persuasive renderings of the tower suggest, it will be a visual cartoon, a supersize, superskinny version of a soft-serve ice cream cone.