Adding the Chicago Spire to the Chicago skyline

New tall buildings may be exciting but they can dramatically alter a skyline. See what the revived Chicago Spire would do to the Chicago skyline:

The supertall skyscraper’s hasn’t quite had a Cinderella story, as the project has gone through name, design and ownership changes since it was conceived in 2005. If completed, the 2,000 foot building would become the tallest structure in the Western Hemisphere.

The various proposals are quite interesting. Two things to note, beyond the proposed height:

1. The Spire has a unique location that helps it stand out from other buildings in the skyline. It is positioned in front, closer to the lakefront and Navy Pier than other tall buildings in Chicago which are closer to the business district or Michigan Avenue.

2. The design helps it stand out as skinny, unusual because of its twists, and unusually tall.

Contrast this with the last major addition to the Chicago skyline, the Trump Tower:


While the Trump Tower dominates the approach in and out of the Chicago River, it is near a bunch of other taller buildings and it has a more traditional design (glass and steel in stacked sections). In contrast, the Spire stands out in front of other skyscrapers and has a more unique design.

If built (and this is still a big if), how long before the Spire becomes a “normal” part of the Chicago skyline? How will it actually cohere with the rest of the skyline?

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