Chicago is beyond any question North America's Super-Tall Building capital. Even though the visually unsettling Freedom Tower (if built) would take away Sears' Tallness Title, Chicago persists in its collection of super-tall structures. And, if Fordham Company and Santiago Calatrava get their way another landmark will soar over Lake Michigan.
Proposing to build the tallest building in any city is bound to generate some interest. Bigger cities lead to more intense interest. And the inevitable outcome of proposing a 2,000 ft. condominium/hotel is a plethora of opinion.
The Slatin Report has two op-eds on The Spire: The first sees it as a development that uses architecture (or the brand-name of an architect) as a financial attractor, the second takes the view that Fordham is simply trying to distract people from other financial problems the company is having.
However, trying to be optimistic about things that are as nascent as this, I enjoyed USA Today's 'Rising Above Fear'. The Freedom Tower demonstrates how a skyscraper can be (potentially) big in spite of 9/11 fears - but also a brutish and a terrible presence. The Spire is practically the polar opposite of that in terms of its appearance.
Finally, there is a piece in the Tribune which asks some pertinent questions about the proposal. The second-to-last paragraph is worth consideration:
"One more thing: How skyscrapers meet the ground is as important as how they
scrape the sky. It is not encouraging that Calatrava's tower will emerge from a
tiered, four-story podium like a stripper popping out of cake. That is a crude
way to bring a skyscraper to the street. It makes this tower resemble a piece of
sculpture on a pedestal, fit for an on-the-make, look-at-me Persian Gulf
boomtown like Dubai."
*Watch out for a big-ol' post on Dubai in the near future