International business tycoon Donald Trump has said he always knew that that the Chicago Spire, set to be America’s tallest building, would be a failure.
“I predicted [the Spire] wouldn’t be built, and I was right,” Trump says. “Only I had the vision and resources to get it done and now my building is the biggest to be built since Sears Tower.”
“I had good timing. I got my financing before the market collapse,” he says.
The spire was to be built by Irishman Garrett Kellher. Irish born, Garrett Kelleher came to Chicago in 2006 with plans to build a 150-story condominium high-rise on Lake Michigan that would establish itself as the tallest skyscraper in North America, as well as the tallest residential building the world over.
His structure would become known as the Chicago Spire and was designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. It was an ambitious undertaking right from the get-go.
Described on the development’s website as “a home and a sanctuary, inspired by the interaction of lake and river," initially the construction was highly anticipated.
“There was a certain sense of the phallus effect here,” Alexander Lehnerer, an architect, urban designer, and professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Architecture, told Time Out Chicago.
“The Spire would be bigger than the rest and kind of dominate the city’s skyline.”
The site has been idle for over two years and a 76-foot deep hole in the ground represents the foundation where the one of the tallest buildings in the world was supposed to stand
The Dublin-based Shelboune Development Group, who were contracted to the project, are the subject of law suits for unpaid bills, property loans and taxes for at least $100 million. Anglo Irish Bank has filed a $77 million foreclosure suit against the development.