The “magnificent and popular” letters spelling “TRUMP” across the Trump Tower have grabbed headlines because of the pushback they’ve received from Chicagoans. Even Mayor Rahm Emanuel has chimed in, calling the signage “tasteless.”
But it’s just the latest in a long lineage of building heresies committed here in Chicago.
Here are a few more building-related decisions that still set our collective teeth on edge:
Sun-Times File Photo
Chicago Stock Exchange
“There was a time when Chicago was losing (Louis) Sullivan buildings at the rate of one every six months,” our editorial board noted in April. One of those was the Chicago Stock Exchange, designed by Sullivan and Dankmar Adler and completed in 1894. It was demolished in 1972, according to the Art Institute of Chicago. But you still can step into the stunning Trading Room of the Chicago Stock Exchange, sort of, at the Art Institute. Sullivan’s elaborate stenciled decorations, art glass and more were preserved from the Trading Room, and the museum reconstructed it in its new wing in the late 1970s, it said.
This mashup of photos from March 12, 2009, top, and July 16, 2009, shows pedestrians walking past the Sears Tower in Chicago and the same building after a ceremony on Thursday officially renaming the it Willis Tower. | AP File Photo
In 2009, the Willis Group obtained the naming rights to the Sears Tower as part of their lease on office space in the building. It officially may have been renamed the Willis Tower, but it only is called that by journalists (begrudgingly) and tourists (unwittingly). To every other Chicagoan, it is and forever shall be the Sears Tower.
Sun-Times File Photo
Prentice Women’s Hospital
Preservationists conceded defeat in February 2013 and withdrew a lawsuit challenging the city’s refusal to grant landmark protection to the former Prentice Women’s Hospital in Streeterville. The building, a brutalist design by architect Bertrand Goldberg, was built in 1975. Northwestern University demolished the cloverleaf-shaped building to make way for a medical research complex.