The Spire Is Not Dead

By Andrew Greiner
|  Friday, Oct 9, 2009  |  Updated 9:15 AM CDT
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The Spire Is Not Dead

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The Spire may yet rise.

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The Fordham Spire may yet rise.

Chicago’s would-be tallest building has been beset by financial problems since crews started digging the hole for its foundation.

Last year, the Spires rock star architect placed a lien on the building, stopped working and claimed that he was owed $11.34 million. And as recently as August, Bank of America sued its developer for $4.9 million. And those are just a few of the suits which halted construction on the project.

The numerous legal problems led many to believe that the building was dead.

But Santiago Calatrava, who was in town for a lecture this week, told the Chicago Tribune’s Architecture Critic Blair Kamin he thinks the building, which would be the world’s tallest will assume its rightful place in Chicago’s skyline before too long.

“My personal wish is that it is not dead,” Calatrava said of the four-year-old project, noting that some of his projects have taken up to 13 years to complete.

A spokeswoman for the developer, Garrett Kelleher, seemed to echo that sentiment.

Kim Metcalfe said buyers are still coming into the building’s sales office.

“We’re definitely making headway,” Metcalfe said.

Despite all the optimism and warm feelings, there is no date for when construction is set to resume on the building.

The silver lining is that Calatrava all-but promised Kamin that he had no plans to move the building to another locale. The Spanish architect says the Spire was designed specifically for Chicago lake-and riverfront.
 

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