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Emanuel And Trump Butt Heads Over Trump Tower Sign

By aaroncynic in News on Jun 12, 2014 9:55PM

Photo credit: Jonathan Lurie

One of Chicago’s biggest egos is butting heads with one of New York City’s over whether or not we should have the pleasure of staring at the words “TRUMP” above the riverfront for Posterity. The Chicago Tribune reports Mayor Rahm Emanuel is exploring ways to force Donald Trump to take down the 20-foot high letters off the side of Trump Tower, which CBS reports the final letter was only being installed today.

Mayoral spokesman Bill McCaffrey told the Trib:

“The mayor thinks the sign is awful. It's in very poor taste and scars what is otherwise an architecturally accomplished building.”

Lead architect Adrian Smith criticized the signage last week, telling NBC5 in an email that it “hurts the image of the building and is done in poor taste.” It also hurts the image of Chicago,” he added. “How could the City officials that must approve these signs let this happen?”

Trump, vulgarian Queens casino owner he is, took to Twitter to fire back at both Emanuel and a Chicago Tribune columnist’s criticism of his monument to his big... businessman feelings:

Trump humbly told the Wall Street Journal “It happens to be great for Chicago, because I have the hottest brand in the world.”

Colm O’Callaghan, managing director of Trump Tower defended his boss, saying:

“He’s taken this part of the town, which I think was inhabited by the Sun-Times building for a very long time—which was not a very aesthetically pleasing building—and he’s placed this beautiful, architecturally recognized building.”

The City Council approved the sign in 2009, though apparently, zoning commissioner Patricia Scudiero did not consult with the Mayor or any of his higher level aides. While the building isn’t the only one along the river to have a large sign—both Hotel 71 and the Kemper building have them—it certainly might be the largest, at 2,891 square feet.

While it's unclear which ego knows best for Chicagoans—the one with a plummeting approval rating or the one who fluffs himself on Twitter from a golden throne—it's clear that for the time being, Chicago now has the pleasure of two big heads looming overhead.