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Calatrava to Bless Chicago with Highrise

By Andrew Peerless in Arts & Entertainment on May 19, 2005 1:20PM

Milwaukee Art Museum, courtesy of mam.orgChicago's unfortunate architectural lull, which bored us all into oblivion with a spate of new, lifeless residential highrises during the late '90s, finally seems to be coming to an end. First we got our Frank Gehry bandshell and our Rem Koolhaas campus center, and now this: it looks like superstar Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava may be bringing his genius to a residential development on North Lake Shore Drive.

Image courtesy of curbed.comThe Fordham Co., a developer of downtown luxury residential properties, has consulted with Calatrava regarding two proposed buildings that would sit north of the Chicago River, on the west side of the Drive. Fordham's not talking much at this point... and while current zoning puts the proposed building heights at around 350 and 550, no one's saying whether Calatrava would work on one or both of the projects.

Chicagoist is unusually fond of Calatrava's work. His first American commission, the 2001 expansion of the Milwaukee Art Museum, raised eyebrows and drew crowds with a delicate, almost skeletal design that raises and lowers according to the position of the sun. He gained additional widespread exposure through his work for the 2004 Athens Olympics, but in Chicagoist's eyes, his most endearing creation is his proposed residential highrise at 80 South Street in New York City - a series of stacked glass penthouses that are estimated to fetch more than $20 million each when they hit the market. Picture at right... Chicagoist tries not to gush, but honestly, have you ever seen anything so beautiful?

Chicagoist is daring to dream that our own Calatrava creation will be equally bold and impressive. We'll be sure to get you more information, and renderings, as it becomes available.