Santiago Calatrava's Chicago Spire Finally Axed

Santiago Calatrava's much maligned design for the Chicago Spire has finally met its end, thanks to a lapsed payment deadline from the site's developer, Grant Kelleher. The project, which would have been the tallest building in the USA, began construction in 2007 but was halted at the onset of the global financial crisis, leaving nothing more than a large hole in the ground for over six years.

Despite numerous attempts to revive the Spire, Grant Kelleher's Shelbourne Development Group never overcame its financial troubles. Shelbourne Development Group and its partner Atlas Apartment Holdings received a court order to pay $22 million to one of their creditors, Related Midwest, who had bought $93 million worth of debt from the project. However, the Chicago Tribune reports that within minutes of the October 31st deadline lapsing with no sign of payment, Related Midwest filed papers in a Chicago court requiring that the deeds for the property be passed to them.

© Santiago Calatrava

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, an email sent to the City of Chicago by Kelleher's attorney Tom Murphy on Friday reads: "Any bridge loan does not seem likely at this point and without an extension, equally unlikely, the property will revert to Related who bought the first mortgage from the Irish government."

Speaking to DNAinfo, he added "It does not seem likely that the plan will move forward."

Construction on the site never advanced beyond the foundations. Image © Wikimedia Commons / Navy2004

The end of the Chicago Spire also signals the end of DuSable Park, which had been designed by Calatrava for the surrounding site and was to be funded by a $9.6 million donation from the developers. "It is a big loss because it was going to be a really internationally-visible building of 150 stories," said Bob O'Neill, president of Grant Park Conservancy and an advocate for DuSable Park. "Now, you have a big ugly hole in the ground where the Spire site is, and DuSable Park … is going to sit there as a pile of weeds."

Story via the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, DNAinfo, and Curbed.

About this author
Cite: Rory Stott. "Santiago Calatrava's Chicago Spire Finally Axed" 05 Nov 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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