The restarting of construction for Chicago Spire, the masterpiece of Santiago Calatrava Valls, an internationally recognized and award winning Valencian Spanish architect, sculptor and structural engineer, may actually become reality soon. Chicago Union leaders with the AFL-CIO may be poised to loan the developer (Garrett Kelleher, Shelbourne Development Group, Inc.) some $170 million in pension funds to restart the Chicago Spire skyscraper project. Because of the recession and slow economy liens and lawsuits against the developer, what would’ve have been the tallest building in North America, the now building stands stalled in construction. All there is at 400 N. Lake Shore Drive today is a gigantic hole in the ground of a foundation between the Chicago River and the Ogden slip.
The union boss who represents 100,000 local construction workers says that unemployment among his members is becoming rampant. The Chicago Spire project could create around 7.5 million man hours of work. “We have people losing their benefits, their houses, their families, and this is a project that’s going to be good for five years with employment for my members,” said Tom Villanova of the Building and Construction Trades Council. “It hit some rough times for this economy, but I think as long as it meets the investment criteria of the pension fund, then it’s a go,” Jerry Roper, president and CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, said.
This is great news!!! I was getting depressed seeing that big, black, Lake Shore Drive hole in the ground while watching the celebration of the Burj Dabai on TV! Despite what Donald Trump and other critics may say, I think think the Spire would be the shining crown jewel of the best modern architectural museum in the world…the Chicago Skyline. This building needs to be built. As much as I love buildings like the Burj Dubai, Taipei 101, Petronas Twin Towers, etc… Chicago can not afford to be second place behind cities like Dubai, Taipei and Shanghai. Like the delay of constructing New York’s Freedom Tower, it’s just not right.
Check Out the Chicago Spire’s Website to see more of this beautiful building’s development: www.thechicagospire.com