Chicago Spire – Chicago (USA)


Financial issues paralyzed construction of this modest 610m (2000ft) skyscraper leaving a huge hole in the ground. When building started the architect Santiago Calatrava´s wife stated people would forget about the tower´s real name as they would be calling it the “Calatrava Tower.” So far it is the “Calatrava Pit” at best…

The following are crude notes and links I have gathered during my research. The information may be in various languages and is being updated during the research process until a full article is written.

The Chicago Spire was a supertall skyscraper project in ChicagoIllinois that was abandoned in 2008 with only its foundation work completed. The construction was halted after several years of on-going financing challenges


Size matters


Calatrava´s models remind me of the movie This is Spinal Tap:


“Forget this! Fuck the napkin!” Calatrava is known to draw projects on napkins during diners with politician friends.

“There was a Stonehenge model on the stage that was in danger of being crushed… by a dwarf”

No perdáis de vista a su mujer. En la inauguración de una torre de una compañía en Chicago, su señora le espetó al presidente: “olvídese del nombre de su empresa, esta torre será conocida como la Torre Calatrava”. Hay que ser engreída.

Fordham Spire

Santiago Calatrava to Chicago Spire Developer: “You owe me MONEY!!”.  By the fall of 2008, it was all beginning to unravel, with liens being placed against the project, including one for $11.3 milion from Calatrava.  One reader suggests making Calatrava’s images into posters.

Somehow, the similarity between Santiago Calatrava and Bert Gordon has never struck me before, but Crain’s Chicago Business is reporting  ( )

this afternoon that the Spanish architect has gone on strike. Claiming he hasn’t been getting paid, he’s stopping working on the Chicago Spire, and placed a $11.3 lien against Garrett Kelleher’s Shelbourne Development, with Perkins+Will filing another lien for $4.85 million. Read the full story here.


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