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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Chicago Skyline: 2020?

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Image hosted by Photobucket.comA Chicago developer is planning a building on Chicago's lakefront that would dwarf every structure in the country. Christopher Carley has submitted plans for a 115 floor tower that would soar over 2,000 feet into the skyline. If built, it would dwarf even the Sears Tower (now the nation's tallest building) by over 500 feet. Donald Trump has already shot out with criticism of the design. Alluding to the threat of terrorism, he stated that "In this climate, I would not want to build that building. Nor would I want to live in that building."

Donald Trump, himself, is playing with the big boys of construction these days. His Trump Tower Chicago (expected to be completed in 2009) is projected to be 1,360 ft tall...just 90 feet less than the Sears Tower.

The proposed building is a slender spire that gently curves as it climbs into the sky. Each floor would rotate a slight two degrees from the one below. From bottom to top, the building would twist a total of 270 degrees...a full 3/4 turn from it's base. Tentatively called the Fordham Spire, it would contain less than a million square feet of usable space, compared to 4.5 million in the Sears Tower. Not only would it be a departure from the tall rectangles that dominate US skylines, it's visual footprint would be slight due to the design.

I studied architecture drafting and design for 5+ years in high school and college. It excites me when I see designs like this. It takes innovation and courage to depart from what is expected. Throughout the rest of the world, there are many buildings that have veered from the norm. No longer is every floor the same size and stacked atop one another like building blocks.

Chicago is the birthplace and has always been the home of the skyscraper. Chicago has always had a rich architectural history and, in the past 30 years, the skyscraper has been a staple for construction here.

Some critics point to 9/11 as a reason to caution ourselves in construction. I think we can not allow that event to slow our progress and innovation. America is known for, among other things, our perserverance and strength in the face of adversity...our refusal to be put down. This building faces most of its opposition from the residents of Streeterville, the area where it is proposed. It would add another landmark to the already infamous area. Navy pier and the Lake Pointe Towers now dominate the landscape.

I, for one, love the design...and while it is doubtful it would be constructed according to current plans, I applaud the effort.

(P.S. I actually wrote the piece above...not just copy-paste, like most news stories I share with you. What I am most proud of, though, is the HTML that allowed me to wrap the text around the pic. Never done it before...SO excited I figured it out!!)

3 Comments:

Blogger FB said...

Actually you did a great job!!! I thought it was very professional.

I think 9/11 is a convenient excuse to not build anything thats heavy in design. I think they(investors) don't want a large percentage of the cost to go into something so frivolous as design.

3:41 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

That think looks like a giant phallic symbol to me... though I really like the spiral design - it's the thingy on the top that weirds me out a bit.

I like linking to one site after another when I have time... like it even more when I find one I enjoy - thanks!

5:20 PM  
Blogger . said...

I love Chicago! That owul dbe a GREAT addition to the skyline...but I love big things...lolololol.

5:49 PM  

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