Sunday, July 31, 2005

REACT - Chicago to get Tower of Babel?

If developers get their way, Chicago will acquire the tallest building in the world -- a screw-ish tower rising 115 stories. Given Chicago's reputation for political double-speak, it seems appropriate to erect a modern day Tower of Babel. Just as the bibilical Babel led to destruction and confusion, the proposed Chicago ediface will do the same. Developers, and a few politicians, say that the presence of the world's tallest building will not invite terrorism -- although that concern caused Donald Trump to reduce his new building in Chicago to less than record breaking heights. One has to wonder what logic the proponents employ. I guess if we parse their language, it would not be "a" terrorist target, because it would be "THE" terrorist target. Do we need to remind them that the Sears Tower was on the target list, but spared for lack of nutty extremists to highjack plans. Attractive as the design by Santiago Calatrava may be -- and it is stunningly beautiful a building -- half the size would be a nice addition to the impressive skyline, and draw attention away from the dull, repititious and irrelevant Meis garbage -- and the even worse Meis imitators. In defense of the world record option, they point out that new consturction will prevent sturctural failure and collapse. Hey! But what about the people killed if a plane slams into the thing.

FOOTNOTE: I know that my dump on Ludwig Mies van der Rohe will upset more than a few architecture elitists, but I am sorry. Mies work is a blight on the skyline. Its only value in the school of architecture is to serve as a bad example.

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