The Chicago Spire would have been built and standing for almost a year by now, had all gone according to plan: a 2,000 ft. tall tower — with the twisted profile of a drillbit — that would have been Chicago's newest landmark.
Of course, fate and finance intervened beginning with the real estate collapse of 2008 and the project was halted. All that remains are memories, lawsuits, liens and a cofferdam 80 ft. deep and slightly more than 100 ft. in diameter on the tower's former site.
That and this four-minute, dreamlike animation of the Chicago Spire, created when the project seemed viable. Posted on YouTube by user lincolnparkmedia, the video is a Surrealist piece of filmmaking with parting clouds, a dramatically falling rain drop and white dove flying past the towers torsioned facade. The score reminds me of the music they played when the heroes reached the cave in those old Jules Verne movie adaptations that used to come on "Family Classics" when I was kid.
The above video interested me.
Shot a year ago in London, the video shows six street photographers preparing to take pictures of building exteriors— and getting majorly hassled by the private security personnel from inside those buildings.
The video shines light on a peculiar cold war between photographers and security personnel in the years following the 9/11 terrorism attacks and the July 7, 2005 London bombings that killed 52 and injured 700: Amateurs and professional photographers standing in the public way to take photographs of a building are sometimes stopped and questioned by security personnel or run off entirely under the rubric of anti-terrorism.
Now building owners can, of course, prohibit photography on their own property. That's understandable. I can't expect to waltz into the lobby of, say, the Aon Building or the Willis Tower on a whim and snap away. But the video shows the other side of the coin, which is photographers standing on public streets, photographing publicly-seen buildings and being challenged by private cops enforcing not a law, but the wishes of the buildings' corporate owners.
So Koo turned to the public today "just for fun," using her firm's Facebook page to solicit ideas.
The Edens Theater — the remarkable midcentury modern movie house that was demolished far too soon — lives again in this video I just found on YouTube.
Built in 1963 and designed by Chicago architecture firm Perkins & Will, the futuristic theater sat on Skokie Boulevard at the Edens Expressway in Northbrook and was one of the most visible landmarks on the North Shore. Its concrete hyperbolic paraboloid roof was once the largest in the world.
The theater was demolished in 1994 with its razing aggravated by the indignity of having screened Jean Claude Van Damme's Time Cop just before its doors closed. And am I wrong for still being a little salty that this great building was razed for a run-of-the-mill shopping mall? The rounded Edens II Theater from 1971 was also torn down for the mall.
At any rate, The Edens Theater: The Life of a Beautiful Bird, was made in the 1990s for Northbrook Community Television. And it is chock-full of great stuff, including color archival footage of the theater and an interview with the esteemed Bill Brubaker of Perkins & Will who credited project architect Bob Palmer as the building's designer.
In the above photo, the Willis Tower is visible to the left. And Trump Tower can be seen in the middle of the picture. The forest of tall buildings is also quite deep: There are skyscrapers behind skyscrapers. Look at this view taken in 1940 from almost the same spot.