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Old 06-25-2006, 01:01 PM   #1
bosdevelopment
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Skyscraper Projects Booming in Chicago

Skyscraper Projects Booming in Chicago
Jun 24 1:52 PM US/Eastern
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By DON BABWIN
Associated Press Writer


CHICAGO


In this city where the skyscraper was born, it is thriving like never before.

Luxury condominium towers and office buildings that climb 600 feet and more are sprouting up all over downtown. Along the Chicago River, the Trump International Hotel and Tower is inching its way up to a planned 92 stories.



Plans are in the works for a nearby 124-story skyscraper, the Fordham Spire, that would knock the Sears Tower from its perch as the tallest building in the United States.

Since 2000, no fewer than 40 buildings at least 50 stories high have been built, are under construction or are being planned. It's a surge in high-rise construction that hasn't been seen here since the 1960s and 1970s when the Sears Tower, John Hancock Center and other buildings helped give the city one of the most distinctive skylines in the world.

And while there is a flurry of high-rise construction elsewhere in the United States, particularly in New York, Miami and Las Vegas, the tallest of the tall are going up in Chicago. Of the three tallest buildings under construction, two are here, according to Emporis, an independent research group that catalogues high rise construction around the world.

"Out my window there are two, three, four, five new high-rises under construction or just completed in the last year and a half, and they've just announced another 80-story building," said Jim Fenters, who has lived on the 51st floor of a 54-story building overlooking Grant Park since 1979. "It's just remarkable what's happened here."

Projects that would be headline news in other cities go all but unnoticed.

"The Waterview Tower, that project is 1,047 feet, taller than the Chrysler Building," Blair Kamin, the Chicago Tribune's Pulitzer Prize- winning architecture critic, said of one building under construction. "In any other city there would be endless conversations, (but) here a 1,000-foot tower is `Ho-hum, how are the Cubs doing?'"

One factor that has fed the construction frenzy is the attitude at City Hall. Chris Carley, developer of the Fordham Spire, remembers the time several years ago when proposals for high-rises would prompt city officials to ask about knocking off 10 or more floors.

Today, the official attitude is reversed.

"I remember at least two (planning and development) staff members saying `Can't you make it taller? We really would like it taller,'" Chicago architect David Haymes says about discussions with the city for a planned condominium tower.

The change makes sense, says planning commissioner Lori Healey. In exchange for allowing developers to go higher _ where they get eyepopping views that allow them to charge huge price tags _ the city gets buildings that are a lot smaller at their base, allowing more open space and light than in cities crammed with shorter, wider buildings.

That's not to say there aren't concerns, particularly since these projects will cast long shadows.

"The jury's out on whether (the building) will overwhelm landmarks like the Wrigley Building and overwhelm the river," Kamin said. "People are concerned."

Still, more than a century after the world's first skyscraper _ the nine-story Home Insurance Building _ went up in 1885, Chicagoans remain enamored with tall buildings.

"Chicagoans live and breathe high-rises both within the profession and within the city," said David Scott, chairman of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, an international nonprofit organization based in Chicago.

Another reason for the surge in construction is that cities are becoming increasingly popular places to live among people with a lot of money _ the same population that fled to the suburbs decades ago.

Geography also plays a role. Unlike some other cities, Chicago has huge chunks of land, much of it near Lake Michigan, the Chicago River or parks.

"We offer unobstructed views, basically forever, of the park and the lake," said Bob O'Neill, president of the Grant Park Conservancy.

And some residents like Fenders say the view is getting even better. From his window, he can see Millennium Park's band shell designed by architect Frank Gehry, the spot where Renzo Piano's new wing at the Art Institute of Chicago is being built and the planned site of the Santiago Calatrava-designed Fordham Spire.

"These are three of the most famous architects in the world, and their (projects) are right here," he said.


Link

http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/06/24/D8IENO980.html
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Old 06-25-2006, 04:02 PM   #2
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Old 06-25-2006, 05:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick
some chicagoans still practice canibalism.
gross
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Old 06-25-2006, 06:22 PM   #4
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Re: Skyscraper Projects Booming in Chicago

Quote:
"The jury's out on whether (the building) will overwhelm landmarks like the Wrigley Building and overwhelm the river," Kamin said. "People are concerned."
The jury's out, eh? Out doing what?

How can you tell when a building or a river has been overwhelmed?

Can you identify an example in Boston or Cambridge?

Whenever I hear this pious platitude I think of little Old State House at the end of State Street with its big brown box hovering over it protectively like a benevolent giant. That building isn't overwhelmed, it's aggrandized.

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Old 06-25-2006, 07:10 PM   #5
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Re: Skyscraper Projects Booming in Chicago

Quote:
Originally Posted by ablarc
How can you tell when a building or a river has been overwhelmed?
Stand at the corner of Clarendon and Stuart streets and look at the spire of Trinity Church, then do the same from the lawn in front of the chuch. The complaint is not always a pious platitude.
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Old 06-25-2006, 07:37 PM   #6
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I assume you mean that execrable Philip Johnson building providing a chaotic backdrop for Trinity's pyramid. That is certainly a ruined view, but I wouldn't use the word "overwhelmed." It's also not really a function of the building's size but its banality. Substitute for it the Hancock Tower in your mind and you'll see what I mean.
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Old 06-25-2006, 07:59 PM   #7
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xec, you think the Hancock Tower overwhelms the church? I think it does its very best not to do that.
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Old 06-25-2006, 08:34 PM   #8
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I don't think he was talking about the Hancock Tower, Ron.
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Old 07-02-2006, 08:24 PM   #9
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Ron, I was refering to 500 Boylston, not the Hancock.

ablarc, it's not so much the view as the role the church plays in the view. From Clarendon and Stuart it defines the skyline. From Dartmouth the role has been usurped by 500 Boylston. The vertical flow of the church climaxes in the steeple piercing the sky, but that climax is negated by the flat top of the building behind and reduced to a futile gesture. Overwhelmed, I'd say.

I agree it's not a function of the building's size. From the northwest corner of Darthmouth and Boylston the old Hancock looms over Trinity but in this case the effect is to aggrandize, as you say. Rather than negated the gesture is echoed and amplified.
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Old 07-05-2006, 03:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xec
From the northwest corner of Darthmouth and Boylston the old Hancock looms over Trinity but in this case the effect is to aggrandize, as you say. Rather than negated the gesture is echoed and amplified.
One of Boston's great set pieces, also pretty much ruined by 500 Boylston.

That snapshot was once right up there with the view up State Street of Old State and its brown box or Batterymarch looming impossibly large in the bend of its eponymous street.
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Old 04-20-2007, 10:34 AM   #11
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I wasn't sure if this story needed it's own thread or not, but here it is:

Quote:
Plan to build 150-story Spire is approved

April 19, 2007 - The plan to construct the 150-story Chicago Spire along the lakefront was passed unanimously Thursday by the Chicago Planning Commission. The Spire would be the tallest residential building in the world.
The Chicago Planning Commission considered the proposal for the Chicago Spire, a 2,000-foot tower at the mouth of the Chicago River that would be the tallest building in the country with the intent of holding 1,200 expensive condominiums.

The Spire is the design of world-renown architect Santiago Calatrava. Dublin-based Garrett Kelleher is the developer. The Spire has the support of Mayor Richard Daley.

"For me it is a great honor to have an opportunity to build in Chicago. Chicago is one of the most outstanding cities in the world," said Santiago Calatrava, architect.

The architect's design plan includes DuSable Park, which would recognize Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, one of the city's founders, and incorporates areas for education, fishing and wetlands, a pedestrian bridge along the lakefront bike path, underground parking and a plaza.

The architect and the developer have guaranteed Streeterville residents that North Water Street will not become a congested highway. The Streeterville Commission of Active Residents (SOAR) is concerned about the skyscraper and what it will do to the community.

"More than 90 percent of the accesses to the building will be done directly from the drive, so that finally the amount of traffic they expect in the neighborhood will be in the range of 1-2 cars per minute," said Calatrava.

The mayor said the building will signify Chicago's new standing with international investors. Many believe the white structure, which twists like a drill into the sky, centrally located, will be the new global symbol for Chicago.

"I think this is a spectacular, world-class building obviously, and it belongs in Chicago. There is nowhere else in the world that it could be as successful," said Ald. Mary Ann Smith, 48th Ward.
EDIT:
Forgot to add the story link, the video has a lot of good views of it:

http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?sec...cal&id=5227033
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Old 04-20-2007, 12:06 PM   #12
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You gotta have balls to live at the top of that place.
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Old 04-20-2007, 01:02 PM   #13
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You gotta have balls cleaning the windows too.
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Old 12-10-2007, 06:39 PM   #14
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Re: Skyscraper Projects Booming in Chicago

I was bored, so I updated.
The Spire, Trump, Waterview are all U/C.
The Arquitectonica LSE Tower is approved.
The Waldof-Astoria is pro.
These are just the Supertalls. Too many to do that are from 600ft to 900ft.
And I love Boston the way it is, but I'd take just one over 1,000ft. They also have 4 over 1,000ft built already.

These are U/C:
Chicago Spire | 610m | 2000ft | 150 fl


Trump Tower | 415m | 1362ft | 96 fl

As of 12/9/07

Waterview Tower | 319m | 1047ft | 89 fl



This is approved:
Arquitectonica LSE Tower | 314m | 1030ft


This is proposed:
Waldorf=Astoria | 386m | 1265ft | 107 fl

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Old 12-10-2007, 07:14 PM   #15
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Re: Skyscraper Projects Booming in Chicago

If there is one city in the world that really knows how to do skyscrapers it is Chicago. But holy hell, why is it that everything Trump builds is ugly as sin?
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Old 12-11-2007, 10:39 AM   #16
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Re: Skyscraper Projects Booming in Chicago

The Trump tower, from the various renders I have seen, is OK. I think the Spire is hideous and The Waterview is nothing special.
I would love to see something along the line of the Waldof-Astoria built in Boston.
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Old 12-12-2007, 06:32 PM   #17
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Re: Skyscraper Projects Booming in Chicago

The original Spire design was so sleek and elegant -- exactly what you'd expect of Calatrava. But along with that attractive shape came impractically small floor plates up top. So now Chi-town is getting a fattened up bastard version, and all I can think is it's a shape that shouldn't be rendered on a 2,000 foot scale.

Can't wait to hear what nicknames the public comes up with for this one!
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Old 12-12-2007, 07:16 PM   #18
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Re: Skyscraper Projects Booming in Chicago

Oh come on, fellas, they're all good.





(Any one of them would make all Bostonians proud.)
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Old 12-14-2007, 08:56 AM   #19
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Re: Skyscraper Projects Booming in Chicago

I have a feeling that the Spire will look better IRL than in renderings, as unlikely as that seems. That rendering is really just the pits...the official website has much more realistic renderings on the website (it's flash so i can't hotlink, but just look under the image gallery>exterior section).
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Old 12-18-2007, 05:32 PM   #20
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Re: Skyscraper Projects Booming in Chicago

On a positive note, I'd take Transnational Place over Trump Tower, that building laid an egg.
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