Critics fear Calatrava's larger Chicago Spire will cause havoc in Streeterville

Old design at left, new design at right
The debate continues over Santiago Calatrava’s new design for the much-anticipated Chicago Spire. Most of the discussion so far has focused on the aesthetic merits or otherwise of the redesign’s increased height (45 additional floors) and width but now Alderman Burt Natarus is raising concerns about how the increased density of the building will impact Streeterville.

“It’s a huge building. It is 65 feet wider,” RedEye quotes Natarus as saying. “My concerns are size, my concerns are traffic.”

The new proposal has to win city support before it can proceed and Natarus’ opinion is expected to carry weight in the debate.

The influential community group Streeterville Organization of Active Residents has also slammed the new design, saying it will bring too many new residents and traffic to the already congested area around Lake Shore Drive and North Water Street.

“The current design lacks the elegance, the gracefulness and the beauty of the approved version,” SOAR president Gail Spreen told the Sun-Times.

Natarus was less opinionated about the aesthetics of the Spire’s new look.

“If Calatrava thinks it’s a nice design, who am I to debate with Calatrava?” he said.

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