Donald Trump Brands His Building. Whose Fault Is It?

Who would have thunk it?  Scores of otherwise prim and proper people have risen in revolt against a mere 5-letter word. TRUMP!

It all has to do with the Donald's mostly acclaimed Downtown skyscraper: Trump International Hotel and Tower.

You might be telling yourself, "Great, just what we need, more hype  from His Highness of Hype."

Trump, it seems, crossed up the  City's Planning Commission, the City Council, the Mayor, the local movers and shakers of public art, and even the building's architect, when he decided at the last minute to plaster his surname on his property.

The string of 5 serif type letters  is  spread out 141 feet----half a football field---two hundred feet above ground level.

Well, this projection of ego is simply too enormous for many to tolerate.

Blair Kamin is one of the gang whose aesthetic ganglion has been frayed.  Kamin is the distinguished architecture critic  at  the Tribune,  and he is beside himself with outrage over Trump's tacky promotional stunt. Shockingly commercial, Kamin, in a nutshell, wrote the other day. How dare Trump mar the skyline with self-adulating grotesque script!

Kamin called the overweening letters "a wart" and "a poke in the  eye".  And, I'm sure,  only the most commendable restraint prevented  him from  resorting  to the  vilest of  imprecations to express his scorn and disdain.

In this groundswell and frenzy of condemnation, blame for the travesty (something that has become a civil rite in our society)  has to be assigned.

No sense pinning it on Mr. Trump.  Everyone expects him to act irrationally from time to time.  And  after all,  it's his building,  so blaming him is a no-brainer.  An adjective that usually comes to  mind  with every Trump epiphany.

Who then should take the  blame?  Blair Kamin.

Mr. Kamin admitted as much.  He wrote in the same column I quoted above that after he elegantly rapped the "proliferation of skyline commercialism" recently because of a new sign on another skyscraper, he expressed his displeasure to Mr. Trump.   "You may force me to do it," Trump told him then.  And he did!

Thanks, Blair.


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  • If you didn't see that coming when they dug the first hole you need ta be whipped!

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    Thank you for your comments, Jerry. Please correct an error in your post.

    While I rolled out several disparaging adjectives for Trump's sign--"grotesquely overscaled," for example--I never called it "Shockingly commercial," as you write. It is that, of course, but you shouldn't be putting words in someone else's mouth.

    Many readers are angry at this sign and what it does to both Trump's skyscraper and the Michigan-Wacker historic district.

    Those readers have posted comments on my Twitter feed. I encourage you and your readers to see them at @BlairKamin.

    Again, thank you for your post.

  • Well said, AW -- particularly the bit about "a civil rite in our society." Well punned!

  • If anyone is surprised by this, they don't know Trump, who is well known for plastering his name on anything associated with him.

    I assume that the city has a planning department that approves all signs, including the Ricketts light show proposed for outside Wrigley Field. Supposedly, they restricted signs on the Bank One/Chase tower and the former Marshall Field's building.

    My only question is whether the Springfield Trump Tower into which Homer the Flying Squirrel crashed in Sunday's re-re-rerun is also going to get Trump's name.

  • In reply to jack:

    As I predicted above, the statement was made on the WGN Noon News that Emanuel would have a hard time in court, since the zoning administrators and the alderman approved the sign (web version).

    So, like the Chik-Fil-A episode, this seems more like a battle between blowhards, except Trump has a history of winning those.

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