Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Trump This

Bartholomew Photo

I had a chance last night to take a tour of the only unsold penthouse atop Trump Tower -- 14,000 square feet of space with 360 degrees of Chicago 90 or so floors below, on the other side of the 14-foot high, floor-to-ceiling windows.

Someone with 30 million or so bucks is going to be very, very happy with the digs.

Say what you want about the developer, Trump is a good neighbor.  It takes the dazzling white brilliance of the Wrigley building to the east and the black-tie formality of Mies van der Rohe's final commercial design and comes up with a glitzy silver facade.  

The mass of the building is lifted 40 feet above the ground to allow the site to run in subtle terraces down to the river. Despite its 92 stories, it sits parallel to the river, observes the city's strict street grid, and somehow manages to preserve unobstructed views up and down the river.

But that's not all.  Its setbacks -- the points where the building becomes more slender -- are designed to pay homage to its three most famous neighbors.  Level 16, where the first setback occurs at 216 feet, matches the height of the body of the Wrigley Building's roofline.  The second setback, which occurs at the 29th level of 396 feet, matches the top of Marina City.  And Level 51 at 659 feet matches the height of Mies van der Rohe's IBM Building, now 320 North Wabash.

It's a brilliant and empathetic design, one just now beginning to be softened even more by a  Hoerr Schaudt landscape design of plantings native to the tower's river site.

But, my oh my oh my, that penthouse!  I went home to my 1150 square foot condo, feeling   like a staff member of Jimmy Carter's White House when the Great Communicator strode in.  The "sauna," adjacent to the "workout room," both of them overlooking Grant Park with views all the way to Indiana, is bigger than the living area of most downtown condos.

Here are just a few of the pictures I took as the sun went down on a beautiful spring night.









Quite a night.  Quite a building.  Quite a city.

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