Skip to comments.An Architectural & Business Masterpiece: Trump Tower in Chicago
Posted on 06/19/2017 3:54:31 PM PDT by poconopundit
Keep the faith, Deplorables! We've turned the corner on the "Russian Collusion" lie, Comey has been outed as a leaker, and Steve Scalise is on the road to recovery! Trump and his team are winning -- big time.
To be honest, the Dems, Never-Trumpers, Fake News, and Deep State Keystone Cops have never run up against a cunning fighter like Trump.
Why am I so confident? Well, one good reason is I know Trump at a deeper level because I read his books. At the library last week I found his 2008 book, Never Give Up: How I Turned My Biggest Challenges into Success and it's a great read.
The Art of the Deal (1987) is his first book and it's a classic. But I prefer Never Give Up because you get a look at Trump as a more seasoned leader and entrepreneur, after having successfully come through his low point in the 1990s when he was billions of dollars in debt.
The 164-page book rewinds some stories from Art of the Deal and fills more recent history, such as Trump's acquiring Mar-a-Lago, developing the golf course in Scotland, building Trump Tower in Chicago, and producing/acting in the Apprentice. Then at the end of each of the 41 chapters, Trump distills the lesson into some valuable "career coaching" and motivational tips.
OK, so what's this pictorial essay about? Well, I recently made a business trip to Chicago. And the trade show I attended was right across the river from Trump Tower so I took the opportunity to walk around the Tower and see it from many angles. Then when I got home I did the rest of my research on Wikipedia. Here are my observations and the pics.
New York and Chicago are rivals as "big, bad" cities. But the beauty of Chicago's downtown is its buildings are more graciously spaced apart -- not tightly crammed together as they are in Manhattan. Trump's Chicago Tower magnificently complements the iconic Wrigley and Tribune buildings nearby. The Tower's asymmetrical shape, rounded corners, and yuge aluminum and glass facade both mirror Chicago's architectural past and take a bow to our modern taste for curves, and clean, elegant lines.
Massive Symbol of American Greatness
The Trump Tower is 98 stories tall, slightly shorter than Chicago's John Hancock Building at 100 stories. But the location of Trump Tower at the intersections of Wacker Drive, Wabash Avenue, and Michigan Avenue puts it at the epicenter of the city. In fact, the building is set sufficiently apart from other buildings that the grandeur of its architecture and massive size stands out all the more.
I flipped the aircraft carrier CVN-76 Ronald Reagan on its tail in the photo below and you can see that the Tower and the aircraft carrier are very close in length. But I was astounded at the difference in weight. Trump Tower, at 330,00 tons, is three times the weight of the aircraft carrier! The greater weight comes, in part, by having each floor separated by a concrete slab. That heavy concrete counteracts the effect of wind on the Tower and better protects the building from the danger of a massive fire.
The Best Location & Magnificent Views
Being positioned along the Chicago River at the perfect spot also makes for some spectacular views of the line of hotels on South Wacker Drive, and the landmark Wrigley and Tribune Tower buildings. The Terrace restaurant must be a great place to watch the St. Patrick's Day festivities when the Chicago River is dyed green.
Alongside the Trump Tower is Chicago's Memorial to Vietnam Veterans in addition to a large bronze statue of George Washington with two principle financers of the American Revolution, Robert Morris and Haym Salomon. How appropriate: the ghosts of two Revolution financiers are protecting one of the most expensive American skyscrapers -- a $847 million Trump investment.
A Foundation at the Edge of Chicago River
Tourist boats travelling west on Chicago River from Lake Michigan see the Tower in full view. The sheer size and elegance of the Tower truly commands the River.
But being on the Chicago River also raised construction issues. For instance, as the foundation was being built, water from the river began seeping into the building site. Divers went down to investigate and the decision was soon made to sealed off the water by driving a steel plate and concrete at the leakage point.
The building sits on limestone bedrock 110 feet underground. Every 30 feet around its perimeter, steel-reinforced concrete was poured into holes bored out of the limestone for structural support. The building has 241 caissons, and the majority of the caissons descend 75 feet into hard clay. Another 57 caissons go an additional 35 feet into the ground, including 6 feet of bedrock.
Negotiating the Deal to Build on the Sun-Times Site
Trump Tower occupies the site vacated by the Chicago Sun-Times, one of the city's two major newspapers. Trump negotiated the $77 million purchase of the property with Conrad Black, the former international newspaper mogul. who owned key newspapers in the US, Britain, Canada, the UK, and elsewhere, and is still a friend of Trump today.
Of course, building a skyscraper in a major city entails humongous planning, negotiations, and approvals from city hall. In July 2001, when Donald Trump announced his plans, expecting to reach a height of 1,500 feet, which would have made it the world's tallest building. But after the September 11th attack in New York, the plans were changed. The first design submitted (December 2001) called for a 1,073-foot building, but the design did not meet the approval of architects and the City.
All told, Trump had the architect create 50 different models of the building before one was selected. The eventual height approved makes the Tower the third tallest in the United States after One World Trade Center and the Willis Tower.
In October 2004, Trump held a ceremony to begin the demolition of the former Sun-Times Building. The whole construction project was financed by a $650 million dollar loan from Deutsche Bank and a trio of hedge funds. Construction began -- finally -- in March 2005, and the building opened for business in January 2009.
Many of the Wikipedia references on the Chicago deal could not be found, but reading between the lines, I suspect the following factors helped push the Trump deal through:
The Trump Sign -- Free Advertising on the "L" Train
Talk about a boost to name recognition: the big bold TRUMP sign on the Tower was an advertising coup. When the sign was erected in 2014, many complained that the Trump sign defaced the building. I disagree. The sign is tastefully done and it was long before negotiated as a part of Trump's contract with the city.
When I lived in Boston, no one complained about the big CITGO sign in Kenmore Square. It's been there so long as a landmark that it's become part of the city's lore. The same goes for the Trump sign. In fact, the Sun-Times building the Trump Tower replaced had a large sign on it already, so the complainers were probably just sore that Trump got what he paid for.
And think about the advertising value of that Trump sign being in full view of the Chicago Transit Authority's trains in the Loop. If 10% of the 241 million annual riders see the Trump sign, that's 24 million advertising impressions. That's worth a lot of hotel rooms and Deplorable votes.
Can't Escape the Magic "TRUMP" Sign
I wish I could have afforded to stay at the $450 per night Trump Tower. Instead, I saved money sleeping at a low-rent youth hostel a mile south of the Tower, near Roosevelt University. And yet, I could not escape the Tower's spell! As I walked to the Subway restaurant on South Wabash, I looked north and what did I behold? There was the big TRUMP sign on the Tower -- small but clearly visible -- 1.1 miles away and perfectly centered on Wabash Avenue! Now that takes planning...
How would Trump Tower Blend-In back in 1900?
Finally, I dropped the Trump Tower behind a 1900 picture of Wabash Street to fantasize what the 98-floor tower would look like above hundreds of low rise buildings below. Actually the first tall building to appear north of Chicago River was the Wrigley Building, completed in 1924. By comparison, the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building opened for business in 1930 and 1931 respectively.
Seeing Trump Tower on a recent trip to Chicago, I got the itch to do a story on it.
Trouble is, the story kept growing and growing on me. There are eight large photos in the story — lots of detail and my perspective on why it’s great.
This is definitely a casual read with some fun stuff in it.
No politics! Ha!
Hope you like it.
Can you imagine what he could do to some of the Washington D.C. structures like he did with The Old Post Office???
Class in everything he touches and does, and he is showing us how he does it, he's a great teacher if we take the time to learn...
Thanks for this, it made my day...
I would add 110 feet to Trump Tower when comparing to the Ronald Reagan, the caissons are an integral part of the structure.
What other Trump books would you recommend?
Wow, this is great, thanks for the images and explanations!! What a magnificent tower!!
Great story and pictures.
Did some projects on Chicago in the 1980s and my daughter attended Moody Bible Institute, graduating in 2003.
Loved visiting there.
Really enjoyed this article—thanks!!
Thanks for all of that work - very interesting. I liked the image of the tower and the 1900’s photo. Amazing how things have changed over time!
You went all out, GREAT JOB..!!!
A+ for research. A+ for presentation. A for spelling and grammar. A+ overall interest. Bravissimo. Very interesting. Chicago is a wonderful town with amazing buildings that motivate architects and inspire patriots. Thankfully, the 2009 Trump Tower is motivating, inspiring and attractive.
I learned from your research that the foundation of the Trump Tower is a work of genius. Amazing.
I think it depends what you are looking for.
The Art of the Deal - 1987
Trump's history in business and one chapter about lessons learned -- very good.
Think Like a Champion
This is weird book because it fits in the palm of your hand and is kind of indestructable. It contains many light vignettes on business and life with some quotes by famous people. Very thought provoking. Nice to read at your bedside.
He collaborated in this book with the Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad, Poor Dad guy and it's pretty hands on instruction on being an entrepreneur. Good stategic lessons here, and basic lessons are on YouTube.
I would rank Trump Never Give Up because it's a good mix of examples from Trump's business life and some lessons.
So far, all the books I've picked up on Trump have been worth reading.
Thanks to you, Falcon, and others for their kind words. I’ve learned that people like the larger images. Most of us have these big monitors on our desks and we don’t use them enough!
It’s a little like National Geographic where you spend most of your time exploring the illustrations with the embedded text and captions.
I waved and cheered at the new Queen Elizabeth as she went by me in an open-air vintage car on State Street, that Great Street, along with Princess Margaret and Prince Philip. Quite a thrill for this young lady.
Thanks so much for your wonderful photos...I studied each one and the various locations brought back so many memories.
The city has always had beautiful and progressive architecture going way back in history thanks to world-renowned Chicago architects such as Mies van der Rohe, Daniel Burnham and Louis Sullivan.
Now retired in Florida, I've never seen the Trump Tower. However, it appears beautifully-designed, low key...and despite being "modern" it fits in perfectly with the wonderous Chicago skyline.
I hope some of the Illinois freepers on my ping list here will enjoy the photos, also....you can sense the vitality of the City of Broad Shoulders shining through in each of all the very professional shots.
Thanks again, Pocopundit!
Took one of the boat tours through Chicago when the Trump Tower was going up and, to say the least, the Chicago powers that be, hated it going up. Hated it so much, they had a building erected next to it, to take away the Trump Tower view of Lake Michigan, trying to reduce the value of the Trump property.
Thanks for the leg work, great pics and info.
I hope to stay at the Trump Tower Chicago, one day.
I’ve stayed at Trump International Hotel, NYC and it is a dream come true.
I had cousins who lived in a suburb of Chicago for a year or two when we were kids and I got to visit them one summer on a road trip with my grandparents. I was even there for Independence Day. We went into the city for the fireworks; it was the best time!
Aside from the 4th of July, though, we didnt go into Chicago for any sightseeing or other touristy activities (well, we went to a giant mall; that’s it). Looking back, I’m horrified that my grandparents didn’t make sure that my brother and I got a good dose of Chicago’s history and culture. I guess maybe they didn’t feel confident enough to drive us in to the city themselves, and my aunt and uncle were too busy working to take us.
Anyway, all that to say...your pictures of Chicago are spectacular! I kind of feel like I’ve finally had a little visit there now. It’s not just the pictures; it’s the SPECIFIC ones that you selected. They enhance your article very well, especially for visual people such as myself. The captions are perfect, too: informative and, sometimes, funny. Weaponized tweets, was it? A cool MAGA drink? Excellent!
Thank you for doing all of that research and presenting it to us, in addition to posting the colorful photos. I’ve never stayed in one of Trump’s properties and honestly had never given a thought to the land acquisition and construction process. I enjoyed reading the information you gave here. I feel like I got a look not just at Chicago, but at “Trump’s Chicago.”
Thanks again, poconopundit! I hope you enjoy working on your projects as much as we enjoy reading them. You really are kind to share. :)
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