Is it the size of the Calatrava Spire or what the developer does with it?

Chicago Spire

Chicago Sun-Times architecture critic Kevin Nance was a big fan of the old Fordham Spire design, before The Fordham Company handed the project off to Irish developer Garrett Kelleher. What does Nance think of the new design? In a Spire review in today’s Sun-Times, he calls the revised project the “Kelleher calamity” and a “bastardized disappointment.”

Nance’s take is not surprising. His initial glowing review of the project celebrated its “feminine mystique” and compared it to a “tall stately woman in a gauzy gown that swirls around her legs.” Maybe you had to be an architecture critic or a poet or an Irish developer to see the femininity Nance was so taken with in the earlier design, but anyone can see that the new one – thicker and less tapered – is decidedly phallic. Nance doesn’t come out and say so, but his criticism that the new tower seems destined to become a building “whose claim to fame is being tall” certainly has the ring of the locker room about it.

The real question: does size matter?

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