Saturday, March 24, 2007

Calatrava and Kelleher unveil latest Spire design Monday - twice

Getting a jump on a long-scheduled Monday, March 26th session of the neighborhood group SOAR (Streeterville Organization of Active Residents) where architect Santiago Calatrava and developer Garrett Kelleher have promised to unveil the long-awaited latest design for their proposed 2,000-foot-high Chicago Spire, the Grant Park Advisory Council and Grant Park Conservancy have just scheduled the same barnstorming pair to appear earlier in the day at a 12:15 P.M. program in the Grainger Ballroom at Symphony Center, 220 South Michigan Avenue. Scheduled to be presented are both the newest Spire design, as well as Calatrava's ideas for the long gestating DuSable Park, just to the east of the spire site on the other side of Lake Shore Drive.

If SOAR's experience is any indication, spectators may pack the Grainger to the point of leaving a perch on one of its Austrian crystal chandeliers as the last refuge for late-comers. SOAR, which, unlike the Grant Park Advisory Council, required pre-registration for what is essentially a community group meeting, had such an enormous response that their event wound up being moved from the Courtyards of Marriott to a large ballroom in the Chicago Marriott Downtown on north Michigan Avenue.

At least for the moment, Chicago seems less crazy about the Olympics than mad for the Spire. Kelleher's past presentations have been amalgams of substance and smoke. How will the ratio play out Monday? All in good time, gentle reader, all in good time.

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