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Using a Spire to Kill Rabbits

By Louis in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 26, 2007 10:00PM


DuSable Park should have its own place in history as a figure of speech. Example: “Sure, I’ll call you back, when DuSable Park is finished”. DuSable was originally discussed in 1988. Wrigley got lights, the Bears lost to the 49ers in the NFC Championship, Daley was a year away from being mayor, and DuSable Park was only going to cost $1.2 million.

Today, estimates put the completion of DuSable park at around $12 million, and though the City and the Park District have pledged $3 million, that is a wee bit shy of the Pot-O'-Gold needed to kill all the bunnies that roam free on the emerald coastline of Streeterville.

In comes Dublin-based (now do you get the jokes in the previous paragraph) developer Garret Kelleher and architect Santiago Calatrava with their Chicago Spire. They envision the park as only a part of the grand scheme of North American height domination, which will only be surpassed on the global scale by Burj Dubai. Designs call for separating the park into two berms that spread apart to allow views of Lake Michigan (as if the phallic symbolism wasn’t enough).

However, Calatrava and the Friends of the Park don’t see eye to eye. The Spire developers want a mid-level Lakeshore ramp to allow easy access to the Spire for the ultra-rich sky dwellers. This ramp would cut into potential park space, and put casual park-goers (ie. non-sky dwellers) in danger of passing cars. Additionally, the Department of Transportation recently held a contest for a pedestrian bridge that would be replaced by Calatrava’s sail-shaped swing bridge.

This also doesn't take into consideration the people that already live in Streeterville who may not want 1,300 condominiums in their back yard. They will have a chance to voice their concerns at The Streeterville Organization of Active Residents (SOAR) at 6 p.m. in the Chicago Ballroom of the Chicago Marriott on North Michigan.

And for those still worried about the bunnies, they are overpopulating the area, says Bob O'Neill, president of the Grant Park Conservancy. No word on the feared overpopulation of humans when the Spire is finished.