Click here for a larger view.Things change. The mostly unlamented modernistic Sun-Times Building is now long gone, along with its secluded oasis garden, and the 1,362-foot-high Trump Tower is now rising on the site. The new building, a sleek steel-and-glass edifice from SOM's Adrian Smith, has its own charms, and will be a ready-made landmark on the Chicago skyline when it's completed in 2008.
But with change, however, things get broken, and the rise of the new tower brings the loss of one of Chicago's great urban vistas: the view down Wabash Avenue to the the high, colonnaded dome of Thielbar and Fugard's 1927 neo-classical Jewelers Building. It's probably as close as we're ever going to get to the view down Congress, towards an almost distressing phallic new City Hall at Halsted, as proposed by Daniel Burnham's 1909 Plan of Chicago and illustrated in a series of famous renderings by Jules Guerin.
Because of the way Wabash makes a diagonal shift to the west just before it hits the river, the site of Trump's new building actually crosses the street's path, and you can already see in the tall crane and low stumps of the first pours of the concrete columns exactly how the structure will completely obliterate the view of the Jewelers Building and subsume it's role as Wabash's visual terminus. Not necessarily bad, but certainly a very different character. Take a final look at the current view while you still have the chance.