Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Chicago: City of the Future

In "I, Robot" they had a great computer generated future skyline for Chicago, but this guy has them beat: his computer models show buildings which are actually under construction, or whose construction has been approved. Particularly stunning:

The skyline at sunset, from the lake

That central peak is the still hypothetical Fordham Spire, which appears in close up here.

Here's a daytime view of the skyline.

And another, with stronger shadows.

The view from an expensive condo building.

The view of an expensive condo building, specifically, Trump Tower, which is about eight floors high right now.

There's a lot of new construction going on in Chicago right now, much of it shown in those skylines, which I haven't identified. The city is in a sort of renassaince. Cranes everywhere. The Fordham Spire is certainly the most inspired, though. Check out these artists' impressions from the Sun Times. Breathtaking.

Close runner up is the much smaller Aqua. That's a brochure to day dream over...

Some of the new construction is sponsored by the city itself. For instance, the peerless Millennium Park. And Daley famously bulldozed an airport in the middle of the night to put another park in its place. He's been planting gardens on public land and encouraging green roofs.

And by the way, he wants to bring the Olympics to Chicago, building a temporary stadium and revitalizing the south lakefront in the process.

I believe Daley is the definition of "benevolent dictator." What can you do?

Chicago is my favorite big city, and I've been to quite a few. It's so much fun to see it grow, right before my eyes... And still retain its unique character, become even more itself. Daley is like a symbol of that. Chicagoans love him, because they love Chicago.

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