As you've probably heard, I loathe almost everything about Donald Trump and his arrogant blowhardery. But I love the shiny new so-big-it-must-be-overcompensating-for-something hotel and tower he's erecting (ahem) on Wacker Drive at the Chicago River. Scheduled to be completed in 2009, it will be the second-tallest building in Chicago (after the Sears Tower and before the AON Building and the John Hancock Center) ... until it gets trumped (ahem) by Santiago Calatrava's spectacular Chicago Spire in 2011.
The hotel, which opened on January 30, 2008, occupies the first 27 floors of Trump Tower. It is in full operation as the building still rises above it. You can see the cranes on the top of the building in this photo. That's Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's 1973 IBM Building (officially called 330 North Wabash) poking up in the background:
Here's a shot of the front of the Trump Tower taken next to the IBM Building, which is on the right. The structure on the left is an ugly parking garage whose ribbed metal cladding has dripped rust stains all over the sidewalk around it. Wabash Street, which runs in front of Trump Tower, is actually a bridge. I took this picture on Kinzie Street right before it runs under Wabash, so I'm actually standing a story below the first floor of Trump Tower:
Here's the entrance from the actual first floor on Wacker Drive. The squatty parking garage sits directly across the street from the entrance, so I'm not entirely sure what building you see reflected here. The front of Trump Tower does sit at an angle, so the reflection could be the condo tower just to its north:
Here's the view looking west from the cute little plaza behind the Wrigley Building. I'm assuming that funky structure near the bottom of the picture is the parking ramp entrance. You can't see it in this picture, but just to the right is a McDonald's with the coolest chairs. They're pearlescent green, and each one has a giant button in the middle of its back. I may steal a couple for our bedroom. My only complaint about the development of plaza is the stone used for the little walls along the walkways you can see in the bottom right corner. It's a beautiful polished limestone, but it doesn't match any of its surroundings: the gray concrete of the sidewalk, the sleek mirrored cladding of the Trump Tower, the blood-red brick of the McDonald's or the shiny glazed terra-cotta of the Wrigley Building: