A Picture is Worth: Calatrava-Designed Hole in the Ground

calatrava hole in ground photo

Image via Tropolism

It was going to be a looker, Santiago Calatrava's 150 storey Chicago condo. No matter that a building that high makes no sense, that it is an incredible waste of material build that high, that the elevators have to be more like rockets to get you up to your apartment, and just pray that the fire department never has to take the stairs to rescue you. But that was in the boom, when no price was too high to be the tallest.

Instead, Chicago has the world's first Santiago Calatrava designed seven storey deep hole in the ground.

calatrava tower built image

What was supposed to be, via designcrack

According to the developer, quoted in the New York Times, it is just a temporary blip.

Mr. Kelleher estimates it will take about $1.75 billion to complete the Spire and says he has had conversations with numerous financial institutions, both in the United States and around the world, over the last 18 months. "There's no financing available to build the Spire today," said Mr. Kelleher. "It's a matter of waiting. And that's what the plan is."

Specifically, Mr. Kelleher is waiting for next fall, when the city will learn whether it will be the site of the 2016 Olympics. "If Chicago lands the Olympics, it will certainly be a boost to the local economy," Mr. Kelleher said.

Tell that to Santiago Calatrava, who had filed a lien, claiming he is owed $11.3 million for his work on the Spire. (Chicago Business)

Every boom ends in much the same way, and in every recovery developers promise they won't repeat the mistakes of the last one. Maybe in the next cycle the market will be interested in energy efficient, healthy, self-sufficient green buildings instead of glazed phalli. We can always hope.

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