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An Architectural & Business Masterpiece: Trump Tower in Chicago
Free Republic ^ | 6/19/2017 | Pocono Pundit

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.

Architectural Splendor

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 Sun-Times site was perfect -- and Trump knew this would be a dream come true: the opportunity to build a skycraper in America's second largest city at an absolutely ideal location.
  • Chicagoans were sick and tired of the low-rise Sun-Times building that was ugly, in disrepair, and built in the 1950s.
  • Conrad Black was itching to sell the Sun-Times building because he knew the newspaper business was dying and he needed to divest.
  • City Hall was probably eager to gain the tax revenue that a 98-floor luxury condo and hotel would bring to the City.  And Trump was the most famous developer out there with multiple skyscraper successes to his credit.
  • Interestingly, the NBC hit show, The Apprentice, began in 2004 and the fame from that show may have the tipped the scales.

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.

TOPICS: Arts/Photography; Business/Economy; Government
KEYWORDS: chicago; skyscraper; trump; trumptower
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To: MinuteGal
Hey Leni,

Great to hear the memories of your childhood visits to Chicago. I hear you about the "world-class art" I saw at the Chicago Art Museum, one of the best in the country.

The great city buildings we see from another era make us recall our past and the contribution that architects, accountants, brick layers, and taxpayers make to elevate their own lives and those of future generations. They seems to say:

21 posted on 06/20/2017 6:30:49 AM PDT by poconopundit (FR: Self-Reliant Lovers of Liberty who can't stop the Chatter)
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To: poconopundit

Next time we go to Chicago we’ll stay at the Trump tower.


22 posted on 06/20/2017 7:06:28 AM PDT by M Kehoe
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To: TXBlair; HarleyLady27; V K Lee
Many thanks for your kind words, Blair.  I do enjoy selecting the pics and modifying/arranging them to tell a short story.  And you can't find a better showcase than FR and its intelligent readers.

If you check the web, it's hard to find many words of praise for this great building and the effort it took to build it.  But I have high hopes that Google Images will catalog one or two of these images, and so Trump supporters will find a link to the story this way.

And maybe someday, someone in the Trump Organization will send a link to the big man himself so he can have a chuckle.   On behalf of me and all the other small-time Deplorables out there, I thank him for all his sacrifices to restore America's greatness.

23 posted on 06/20/2017 7:14:03 AM PDT by poconopundit (FR: Self-Reliant Lovers of Liberty who can't stop the Chatter)
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To: Road Warrior ‘04; flaglady47; oswegodeee; Chigirl 26; BillyBoy; prairiebreeze; seenenuf; ...

"Took one of the boat tours through Chicago....."

You probably took the same one I went on a number of years ago (pre-Trump Tower)...and I advise anyone visiting the Windy City to do the same. Fare is around $30 and is worth every dollar, believe amazing experience.

This Chicago boat tour is one of the most-booked tours in the U.S., ranking right up there numbers-wise with the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam and the Statue of Liberty tours! And with good reason.

On your comfortable boat which snakes through the heart of the city, you get breathtaking views of the city's famous architecture, including more than forty notable and historic buildings.

What I enjoyed also was the up-close view of the activity and scenery along each bank of the river as we went by. No messy "waterfront" sites, everything landscaped, developed and interesting. The individual skyscrapers and other buildings were fronted on their riversides by outdoor cafes, gardens, sculptures and many other scenes of interest to give the folks on the boat a series of vignettes on a smaller and more intimate scale.

Everyone planning to visit Chicago should book a seat on one of these river boats....I guarantee you a breathtaking visual adventure!

At the end of the tour, we disembarked by a top-notch restaurant where we enjoyed a delicious brunch on a riverside patio....and while we ate we were watching other tour boats going by filled with people watching us!


24 posted on 06/20/2017 7:28:37 AM PDT by MinuteGal (GO TRUMP !!!.....GO PENCE !!!.....GO USA !!!)
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To: M Kehoe
See # 24...don't miss the boat trip on your next trip to Chicago !


25 posted on 06/20/2017 7:33:08 AM PDT by MinuteGal (GO TRUMP !!!.....GO PENCE !!!.....GO USA !!!)
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To: poconopundit
Well done, PP. Thanks for sharing your hard work and effort.
A tour and lessons without leaving your easy chair.

26 posted on 06/20/2017 7:35:12 AM PDT by V K Lee (DJT: "Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war. ")
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To: HarleyLady27
Great Post!!

IF he is left alone can you imagine what he could with our Country.

27 posted on 06/20/2017 8:00:41 AM PDT by painter ( Isaiah: �Woe to those who call evil good and good evil,")
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To: poconopundit

Thanks poconopundit...

28 posted on 06/20/2017 8:31:15 AM PDT by GOPJ (James Hodgkinson a Bernie Sanders true believer)kicks off Resistance Summer by shooting Republicans)
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To: MinuteGal
From my post:

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.

That little factoid was compliments of the boat skipper. Boat's name was the Seadog. I remember it so well, because I thought, he's (Trump) bringing business to your cesspool of a city and there's no reason for those comments.

Like you said, it's well worth the money to take the tour. Amazing, at the very least!

29 posted on 06/20/2017 8:38:25 AM PDT by Road Warrior 04 (Molon Labe! (Oathkeeper))
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To: poconopundit

Great job poconopundit...

30 posted on 06/20/2017 8:38:59 AM PDT by GOPJ (James Hodgkinson a Bernie Sanders true believer)kicks off Resistance Summer by shooting Republicans)
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To: Road Warrior ‘04
Great pic of the boat and the skyline. The boats also snake through narrow parts of the river with the skyscrapers and other buildings and other interesting sights up-close and personal!


31 posted on 06/20/2017 8:45:35 AM PDT by MinuteGal (GO TRUMP !!!.....GO PENCE !!!.....GO USA !!!)
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To: MinuteGal; TBP; flaglady47; Maine Mariner; pax_et_bonum; Bob Ireland; Seattle Conservative; ...

The Trump Tower in Chicago had a serious pre-construction problem. The land available to build it is small & narrow. The windy city is..well very windy! If the tower was built with routine standard hi-rise building design, the sway of the building at top floor would have been 4 times other hi-rise towers in Chicago.

So the architect has designed a large concrete vertical column in the center of the building. The result is that The Trump Tower sways only 1/4th of other Chicago towers of similar height in windy conditions.

How can you tell a local from a visitor in Chicago?
The visitors usually pronounce “Chi-caa-go”. The locals will usually say “Chi-caw-go”.

32 posted on 06/20/2017 8:58:49 AM PDT by entropy12 (Read my profile for how to really reduce healthcare costs & improve quality.)
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To: poconopundit

Well done, thank you!

33 posted on 06/20/2017 9:57:33 AM PDT by W. (What's crackin', bitch? Har!)
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To: Navy Patriot
I would add 110 feet to Trump Tower when comparing to the Ronald Reagan, the caissons are an integral part of the structure.

Good point, Navy. We should include the underwater ballast of the Trump Tower.

Nobody mentioned it yet, but the USS Ronald Reagan on Lake Michigan (pic #3) is an impossible feat because of the super-carrier's size. However, smaller, coal-fired carriers were used on Lake Michigan for training during WW2.

34 posted on 06/20/2017 10:44:34 AM PDT by poconopundit (FR: Self-Reliant Lovers of Liberty who can't stop the Chatter)
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To: entropy12

Great additions, entrophy! And I like “Chi-caw-go”. Sounds tougher, like the harsh call of a crow. Can you imagine Mike Ditka saying “Chic-caaaa-go”? :- )

35 posted on 06/20/2017 10:50:00 AM PDT by poconopundit (FR: Self-Reliant Lovers of Liberty who can't stop the Chatter)
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To: poconopundit

I will always love Chicago having spent 37 years in the area from age 22 through 58. But finally the weather and property taxes got to me and moved out in 1997. I miss the great eateries, superb golf courses with Poa Annua grass which is no where to be found here in Florida. City skyline looks much more impressive now than in 1998. I remember visiting top floor of Prudential building many times which was then the tallest in Chicago. Also the beautiful lake front many miles long all with public access, the museum of science & industry was a favorite, Bahai temple, Cantigny Park was awsome. When I arrived in Chicago in 1962, one could take city buses on Clark street well past mid-night without fear of getting mugged. The deep dish pizza served in a thick black iron pan at Uno’s in eary 60’s was to die for. The best ribs at Old Barn and prime rib at Willowbrook ballroom I miss dearly.

36 posted on 06/20/2017 11:16:37 AM PDT by entropy12 (Read my profile for how to really reduce healthcare costs & improve quality.)
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To: poconopundit; MinuteGal
Great graphics report - from a Philistine who has no memory of my toddler visit in the 40's... Almost makes me want to visit there. 👴
37 posted on 06/20/2017 11:17:47 AM PDT by Bob Ireland (The Democrat Party is a criminal enterprise)
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To: Bob Ireland


After all these years you didn’t tell me you were a descended of Goliath.

Hope you are doing well.


38 posted on 06/20/2017 11:21:11 AM PDT by M Kehoe
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To: M Kehoe

Crap, screwed that one up.


39 posted on 06/20/2017 11:24:18 AM PDT by M Kehoe
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To: M Kehoe

Better than Goliath - I think. :^D Hope you are well also - and good to see you still posting on FR.

40 posted on 06/20/2017 11:29:59 AM PDT by Bob Ireland (The Democrat Party is a criminal enterprise)
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