The Chicago Spire Is Reaching For Tallest Record

Posted on: May 27, 2007

Chicago Spire creator Santiago Calatrava isn’t just a world-renowned architect-he is an artiste. The buildings he designs are incredible feats of form and structure, often more like sculpture than places for people to live. Even if no one ever lived in them, they would be an asset to the cities in which they have been erected. People would come from around the world just to see what he had done. But people do want to live in them. To say that one lives in a Calatrava, like the Chicago Spire, is to say one has finally arrived.

Calatrava is the lead architect and engineer behind the Chicago Spire, which is set to be the tallest building in the U.S., to be located at 420 East North Water Street and 400 North Lake Shore Drive. At 2,000 feet, this building is going to be a supertower. Some people call the Chicago Spire simply a “statue.” They say this as though it is a bad thing. Perhaps they think that highrises should be ugly.

Why shouldn’t a highrise like the Chicago Spire be the result of artistic inspiration, as this one has? Calatrava himself compares the shape of the Chicago Spire to that of a column of smoke from a Native American campfire.

Calatrava is a superstar among architects. That means living in a building like the Chicago Spire carries with it a great deal of prestige. After all, this is the man who designed the Milwaukee Art Museum.

The Chicago Spire is an environment-altering structure, an attraction in its own right. Never mind that people will pay good money to live there-people will come from miles around, perhaps even from other countries, simply to see it. After all, how many buildings have you ever seen that twists like a giant unicorn’s horn? How many buildings can be called the “hottest project in Chicago”?

The Chicago Spire has been the hottest project in Chicago since the plans were first unveiled. At that time, eight hundred people contacted developers to ask about reserving condos for themselves. June 2007 is when groundbreaking should begin. The building is set to be finished in 2010.

It is an interesting fact that Shelbourne Development Group, Inc., has been busy making sure that this building will not have an adverse effect on traffic patterns. The Chicago Spire represents a lot of new people moving into, through and around the neighborhood, with cars. But Shelbourne thought of that right from the beginning. Their plan is to use Lower Lake Shore Drive to feed traffic to the building, to keep traffic flowing smoothly. They have taken a holistic approach to the project.

Even bird rescue groups like the Chicago Spire. They like it because it is tall and thin, instead of wide and squat. A thin shape, they say, has less of an impact on migration. Originally, two wide towers were slated to be built in that spot. This one, the bird rescue groups say, is much better.

Speaking of a holistic approach, the Chicago Spire developers really have thought of everything. They know that a building’s surroundings are at least as important as the building itself, and so they are developing a nearby abandoned lot as well, turning it into a park for walkers and cyclers and joggers and other types of park-goers. But they haven’t stopped at that. There are also plans for a circular plaza and five-story glass atrium.

The actual units in the Chicago Spire are going to be spacious homes for people who like to live in luxurious style. You will have plenty of space to host gatherings or to raise growing families. After all, you will be living in the world’s largest condo highrise. You should have plenty of space. There was less living space in the original version of the Chicago Spire, but this version, which provides 3 million square feet of livable space, is a vast improvement, especially since it includes seven stories of underground parking and a bridge from the building to a nearby bike path. There will also be plenty of elevators to get you home.

For more information about the Chicago Spire, visit the Chicago Spire Chicago Condos at Best Chicago Condos.

About the Author

Paula Cherrist enjoys writing about Chicago real estate for Best Chicago Condos and Chicago Condo Directory


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