My recent posts at World-Architects


Friday, March 17, 2006

Chicago Biz

Crain's Chicago Business reports that "Chicago’s planning commission Thursday approved the 124–story Fordham Spire, a 2,000–foot residential and hotel tower that will be the tallest structure in the U.S."

As Blair Kamin further reports, since the Spire's initial unveiling Calatrava's design has been refined "to combat the threat of terrorism [and] so it could accommodate broadcast antennas."

Before people get too excited, Kamin reminds us that SOM's 7 South Dearborn project also received planning approval, only to be shelved after the developer failed to achieve financing. That is the next major hurdle for developer Carley, though he says that "he has a non-binding financing commitment for the entire project from a major European financial institution."

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Image found here

And don't get too seduced by this image, obviously meant to tone down the reality of a 2000' tall tower along Chicago's lakefront. It won't blend nearly as well as this craning shot suggests.

In other Crain's Chicago "news" (and not just because this page is mentioned), Jeanne Gang contributes to their regular Info Junkie section, where leading figures in the city indicate what they're reading, what they're watching, where they find inspiration for what they do, etc. While her choices are great (a book by Edward Tufte, "The Simpsons", Hello Beautiful!, anything by the late Stephen Jay Gould), it's interesting to contrast here choices with those of people in other fields. For example, lawyer Samuel Skinner reads online news and a biography of LBJ and watches Cold Case, and Playboy CEO Christie Hefner reads Business Week and books by Scott Turow and TIVOs a bunch of TV dramas, such as Boston Legal. If I may generalize (and I probably shouldn't), this seems to indicate that architects not only search for and find inspiration outside of the profession but strive for a broader understanding of the world that embraces science, politics, nature, and popular culture, beyond business and media. And they have better taste in TV.

Thanks to Jackie for the head's up on the Info Junkie!

Update: Oh, and Block 37 is on hold. No surprises there.


  1. "he has a non-binding financing commitment for the entire project from a major European financial institution."

    That sounds vaguely familiar to what the developer of 7 South also said. I was really disappointed when that wasn't built.

  2. I just don't find the Fordham Spiral very interesting. Compared to more ingenious rotational towers like the Gherkin in London, it comes across as a formalist one-liner.


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