I don't want the Chicago Spire in the future Chicago

I don't want the Chicago Spire in the future Chicago

It’s too tall. It also looks like a doobie.

Lest you think I’m a NIMBY with no appreciation of architecture, I do enjoy neat architecture. I especially like roundish buildings or buildings with curves, just because it’s more organic and different from all the square buildings. Aqua is awesome. So is Marina City. And Lake Point Tower.  And I’m a little sad to see Prentice get torn down even though it was admittedly rather ugly, it was just different from all the buildings around it.

The spire, being, well, a spire, is cool. The curves are great, although I think they need to include some balconies in a neat fashion a la Jeanne Gang for a little added oomph.

But it’s too damn tall for the area, even if some people are excited about it.

I understand the desire to have one of the tallest buildings in the world in Chicago. It’s kind of a phallic boast. “Mine is bigger!” It shows the world we have the economic wherewithal to build such monstrosity. If that is the biggest desire, then put it in another spot.

Maybe if it was put over in the west part of the Loop near the Sears Tower (or the Big Willie, if you prefer), then it just fits in better architecturally and visually along the skyline. Or up near the Hancock. (Actually, you know what? In terms of phalluses, the Spire looks like a dolphin peen.)

Where it is right now is a big, fat, emphatic NO. It’s like that tall kid in 3rd grade who everyone thinks will end up playing for the Bulls.


If the developers could cut the height down to, oh, 90 floors, it will still be taller than Lake Point. It will still have a great view. It will still make an impact on the skyline, adding some more curves to complement the boxy buildings.

But it won’t be awkward or overpowering. You don’t want to shove height down people’s throats (read that how you wish.) You want it to be a flavor, a complementary ingredient to the city. Not an imposition, which, if it was built as is right now, it would be. I recommend shrinking it down to size to keep the same shape. Or if you want to have an overzealous bris, you could cut off the top a good portion, giving it a flat top like the surrounding buildings.

Plus a shorter building means fewer condos/apartments, which will avoid a glut of housing, completely gutting the luxury market (and come on people, we need more affordable or family houses downtown). The Trump took aaaages to fill up at the prices they wanted. If that happens to the super-tall Spire, people will jokingly compare us to Putin’s Olympics, or to Dubai’s tall empty buildings. All appearances, no substance.

Right now, it’s still up in the air as to whether the Spire will be built as is.

I hope it isn’t.

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