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Large Hole From Failed Chicago Spire Project To Be Hidden With Dirt

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Mar 23, 2016 6:04PM

The hole in the ground that is the Chicago Spire site, seen in April 2010 during the collapse of the commercial real estate market. (Scott Olson/Getty Images photo)

The long-awaited and long-suffering Chicago Spire Project is now deader than dead—its lakefront remnants are being covered over with dirt.

The supertall skyscraper, dreamed up by developers and designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava before the 2008 financial crisis, was meant to be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. For the better part of a decade it has been little more than a 76-foot-deep hole in the ground in the New East Side community and an enduring symbol of the recession.

Related Midwest, owner of the 2.2-acre Spire construction site and its unsightly pit since 2014, is now piling dirt around the hundred-foot wide hole to partial block it from view, the Tribune reports. In a letter sent from Related Midwest VP Nick Anderson to neighbors, the company informed them that they plan to build a berm and plant trees to offer "a natural visual screen" between them and the abyss.

Anderson added that it was "the neighborly thing to do," given that longer-term plans for the project (if there are any) are still under wraps. As Friedrich Nietzsche's timeless saying goes, "if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you." Unless you pile mounds upon mounds of dirt around it, that is.