Addendum on the Spire

A rare negative piece on the Chicago Spire today, from Peter Slatin. I'm a little surprised that he is against a project that has such excellent architecture just because he doesn't like that starchitects are now being used to sell condos. Isn't that the point, to get on the other side of the table so that developers want to use great architecture as a selling tool? I mean, you can't complain about Trump's "commercial" architecture one day and then complain about top-flight design the next -- you begin to be seen as anti-developer, period.

Slatin and others also don't like the location of the Spire, feeling that a slender needle-like structure on the edge of the downtown and taller than anything else would look "garish" and out of place. Ugliness would ensure. Hmmn, guess they've never been to Toronto.

Finally, now USA TODAY has commented that America is overcoming its fear of terrorism as it relates to tall buildings, and that "skyscrapers remain symbols of American achievement and striving." Sure, if that's "striving" circa 1983. Take off the blinders, USA TODAY, and read my post from yesterday regarding where America stands in the supertall status charts. You're not coming back. And by the way, can you even spell "Calatrava"? That's a four-syllable word, you know.


Blogger Dr. Tobias Funke said...

Enjoying this blog, yo. All this talk of gigantic spires and whatnot makes me want to re-read the Fountainhead and/or watch some old footage of Manute Bol.

Keep up the contribution to the public discourse!

12:23 PM  
Blogger MacDoug said...

Hey man, write whatcha know. Nice work, DT96.

On terrorism and targets: It strikes me as simultaneously understandable and irrational that Americans now have a fear of tall buildings. Were the WTC towers targets merely because they were tall? Or was it because they were symbolic? Or was it because they were on the edge of the island and easily reachable via speeding aircraft? It's a horrible thing to say, in a way, but would the Chrysler building have been chosen had it been nearer to shore? Does the fact that it happened once make it more or less likely to happen again?

Just because a very tall building exists, or might exist, doesn't automatically make it a prime target. A target, perhaps, but not a prime one. Remember that terrorists think in terms of maximum psychological effect, not necessarily in terms of height alone. They succeeded with the WTC - hitting the Hancock building would not have had the resonance, despite the fact that it's wicked tall itself.

I'm spending a lot of time trying to understand how these guys think these days - can you tell? It's probably impossible to get inside their heads completely from where I come from, but I think it's important to try.

10:22 AM  
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12:26 PM  

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