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Chicago Spire

ChicagoDowntown / Loop

The hole-in-the-ground gang talks about the Spire

Lakefront aerial

In this fascinating two-part video the architect, developer and members of the construction and engineering teams talk about the technical challenges of building the Chicago Spire and how they surmounted them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Spire The financial and marketing challenges proved far more daunting than the design, environmental and engineering ones and the Spire, though buildable, remains unbuilt. ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on November 19, 2012

From Yo’s archives – severed heads and the Chicago Spire

Santiago Calatrava video

Five years ago today Yo was looking forward to an evening presentation by Garrett Kelleher on the latest iteration of his plans for the Chicago Spire. Six months later we shot video of Spire architect and bag-holder Santiago Calatrava outlining his vision, which included the use of severed human heads as incredibly creepy door handles. ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 12, 2012
News & trendsArchitecture & design

A brief look at Milwaukee’s Calatrava

Milwaukee Art Museum

I was in Milwaukee earlier today, visiting the Lake Bluff Condominiums. On my way out of town I stopped for a brief look at Santiago Calatrava’s Quadracci Pavilion, the “sexiest building in the world.” Beginning September 8th the Milwaukee Art Museum will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Quadracci Pavilion with a 4-month long exhibition, ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on September 6, 2011
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Quote of the day: @ can’t let go

“Death might be an overblown term. I don’t think it’s dead.” – @properties co-founder Michael Golden, maybe the only man in all of Chicago who hasn’t given up on the Spire. Shelbourne Development, he says, is “still actively trying to put something together” for the site. Certainly Golden would have a lot to gain by ...

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Posted by Joseph Askins on February 3, 2011
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Kelleher wants $16M for Gold Coast mansion

World-famous hole digger Garrett Kelleher is trying to unload his century-old mansion at 1416 N Astor St for $16 million, says Dennis Rodkin. It’s not on the MLS, but if it were, it would be the most expensive listing in all of Chicago, and third most expensive in the metro area. The Spire (non-)developer bought ...

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Posted by Joseph Askins on January 12, 2011
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Chicago Spire — still dead

Chicago Spire hole

At this point, stories of the Spire’s incremental demise don’t interest me, but a couple of people have sent me links to today’s story regarding the development’s move into receivership, so consider this our acknowledgement of the event. “My job is to manage the property for the court while the two parties proceed with their ...

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Posted by Joseph Askins on December 8, 2010
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

The Chicago Spire: 2005-2010?

The Chicago Spire

Maybe there’s hope for the Second Sun after all. Anglo Irish Bank has filed a $77 million foreclosure suit against the Chicago Spire, “likely certifying the death of the ballyhooed project,” in the words of Crain’s Chicago Business. Hat tip to Curbed for a summary of the firewalled article.

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Posted by Joseph Askins on October 10, 2010

Quote of the day: Learning to love the hole

We love the hole. I think we would like to have the hole there forever. – UIC architecture professor Alexander Lehnerer, on the 70-foot-deep “scar” at the Chicago Spire site. Lehnerer’s proposal for a “second sun” topping the hole won this year’s Chicago Prize from the Chicago Architectural Club. The Spire’s NBC Tower sales center ...

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Posted by Joseph Askins on May 17, 2010
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Promotions from the past: The Spire

We’ve cultivated quite the collection of promotional materials from sales centers, ranging from a handful of Xeroxed floor plans stapled to hand-written sales sheets to elaborate coffee-table tomes decorated with gold leaf. Project cancellations, budget cuts, and a desire to shift promotions online all mean one thing: It could be years before we see anything ...

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Posted by Joseph Askins on February 16, 2010
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

An in-Spire-d contest announcement

Have a plan for the Chicago Spire hole? It may be worth $3,500. Taking cues from a variety of snarky blog posts, newspaper columns, and message board discussions, the Chicago Architectural Club has dedicated its 2010 Chicago Prize Competition “to examining one of the most visible scars left after the collapse of the real estate ...

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Posted by Joseph Askins on February 11, 2010
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Chicago Spire non-story of the day

Crain’s is reporting – to no one’s surprise – that four large union-affiliated investment funds are taking a pass on the Chicago Spire. Crain’s quotes a pension fund adviser re unions discussing financing the Spire: “I can’t imagine who would be doing that.” Does anyone still seriously believe the Spire will be built? My take: ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on December 21, 2009

Quote of the day: the Spire is top priority

“When I was sitting in Copenhagen and things went south, this moved to the No. 1 slot. We’re way past the look-see stage. We’re in the commitment stage now… They want us at the table. They don’t have a lot of people at the table that can throw in the money that we can throw ...

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Posted by Joseph Askins on November 30, 2009
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Whither the Chicago columbarium?

Architecture critic Lynn Becker reports that the landmark Three Arts Club will not be converted to a columbarium, but that the developers still consider that concept viable. What other sites would be appropriate? Anyone plugging for the Chicago Ex-Spire?

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Posted by Joe Zekas on November 28, 2009