Friday, September 26, 2008

The Spire

Architecturally inspired by a plume of smoke taking rise from the campfire of Native_Americans who would have resided along the banks of Lake_Michigan, the Chicago_Spire will soon begin its upward thrust to reign supreme over an already impressive and historic American city skyline.
The all-residential condominium tower at 400_N._Lake_Shore_Drive will sit just to the west of DuSable_Park, between Navy_Pier and Wacker_Drive. Topping out at 2000 feet in height, it will be the world's second_tallest all-residential tower, with a total of 1194 residences on 150 floors. The homes will range in size from a modest studio to a much larger 4 bedroom unit. Plans also include penthouses of undisclosed size.
At such a stunning height, subjects gazing out of the windows of the top-floor community room will be able to look downward at the famed Sears_Tower, once the world's tallest building, which will fall short to the Spire by 550'. Not only will one be able to look down on every tower in downtown Chicago, but will also be able to gaze across the waters of Lake Michigan and see the shorelines of Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.
In order to achieve a design from his original inspiration, architect Santiago_Calatrava gently tapers the exterior walls inward, and each floor is offset from the one below by 2.44 degrees, for a total 360 degree rotation from ground to tip.
A spiraling plume of smoke that reaches 2000'? Must be one mother of a fire!
During an evening spent on Navy Pier last summer, I saw the construction site taking shape and the billboard posted with the coming development. Work was to have begun in the days that followed. The residents of 1194 condos must have a place to park, so construction first began on the building's seven story sub-terranian parking garage. With that in mind, I knew it would be quite some time before we would see any progress against- and into- the sky above.
2010 had been the original target date for completion, but the market turbulence has slowed progress and a tentative year of 2012 has been estimated for its completion.
Want a piece of Chicago sky in this particular vertical neighborhood? The sales office is open and would be more than accomodating in finding you the unit that is just right for you. But hold on to yer_breeches, studio units are priced at $750K and the prices spiral upward from there. The largest of the penthouses lists for $40Million. Anyone wanna go 'halfsies'??? Better hurry though, reports are that the tower is already 30%_sold.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Otherwise, I would be bored to tears

Today marks one full week with our house guests. It might be difficult to determine if they have enjoyed their stay as much as I have enjoyed them being here. As luck would have it, I have been off work all week due to a medical problem and their presence has given me great diversion to my little problem. Had I been at home alone all week, I think I would have likely focused on the pain I'm experiencing more, and the time would have slowly crept by. Tomorrow though, I will return to work, and my schedule will be back to a more normal state. On one hand, I'll be glad to get back, but on the other I fear that I may be walking back into a mess. Hopefully, the replacement my home office has sent down will be able to keep work flowing properly. I hope, anyway.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"Things are getting really bad here"

were Thomas' exact words when I spoke with them this morning. As Hurrican Ike was approaching, they had decided they would stay nearer their home in Houston, so that a trip back home would not be so complicated and exhaustive. Those were the best of intentions, yet none of us had any idea the area would be so devastated. I have been reading that the mayor of Galveston has now barricaded the bridge leading into town (I-45), has said that anyone still there needs to leave and that residents that fled cannot return. The situation is becoming more dangerous with each passing day.

Upon our urging and reassuring, Thomas and Marieke are on there way up here today. From here, they can better manage their personal affairs and eventually begin the process of getting their life back into order.

It may take weeks for issues in Galveston to be resolved and the city reopened. From articles I've read, all of the infrastructure is gone, and now health and disease issues are plaguing those that stayed behind. Reports range from that of cemeteries that have had their tombs disinterred by the flood waters with the mangled mess of old coffins and dead bodies and other debris washed against fences and buildings, to accounts of rescuers finding people with hundreds of mosquito bites, dead pets and sea-life littering the whole town, and cattle and horses now aimlessly wandering about that had escaped the flooded western end of the island that has no sea wall.

The Houston-Galveston media is apparently shielding this information from residents so as to prevent panic, and I can understand why. However, I do think they should at least be willing to reveal to Galveston residents that it will be quite some time before they let them go back home, and even longer before life can return to normal.

Yes Thomas, things are really bad down there. You have no idea how bad.

So, perhaps we may have house guests for quite some time. Joe and I look forward to being able to help these two special people get their life back in order... however long it may take.

Friday, September 12, 2008


I spoke with Thomas and Marieke last night to see how they were dealing with Ike headed straight for Galveston, and they were of the opinion that they would just 'ride it out'. Well, after seeing this morning how bad this storm is getting, I (along with Joe's urging, too) have tried to make contact with them.

I've sent them a text message, just to let them know they are more than welcome at The 602. There is no need to even call... just get out before it's too bad to leave.

So, tonight we may have guests. And as bad as this storm is looking... they might be here a while.