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Chicago Spire


Chicago Spire
Fordham Spire


Structure in General

unbuilt [cancelled]
composite structure
caisson foundation
stainless steel
curtain wall


residential condominium


  • The slender twisting structure resembles a narwhal's horn.
  • Each floor is rotated about two degrees from the one below, forming a tapered tower which twists 270° from the base to the roof.
  • According to the architect, the tower's shape was derived by imagining the plume of smoke from a campfire lit centuries ago by Native Americans at the mouth of the Chicago River.
  • Construction on the foundation and perimeter walls of the site officially started in 2007, but was halted in 2008 in the midst of the Great Recession.
  • An attempt to reorganize the finances of the development, which would have allowed construction of the tower to proceed, ultimately failed in the fall of 2014.
  • Chicago Spire would have been the tallest building in the United States and the Western Hemisphere.
  • This building would have had the longest elevator run in the world.
  • Chicago Spire's lot is situated by the mouth of the Chicago River, and also guards the entrance to Ogden Slip, a short branch of the river to the north.
  • This is the third serious proposal in Chicago for an extremely narrow tapering skyscraper that would surpass the Willis Tower in height; the earlier proposals were the Miglin-Beitler Skyneedle and 7 South Dearborn.

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400 North Lake Shore Drive

Technical Data

2,000.03 ft
2,000.03 ft
Jul 2007

Involved Companies

Design Architect:

Associate Architect:

Also recorded for this building:

concrete supplier, developer, elevator consultant, excavation company, facade consultant, foundation company, geotechnical engineering, MEP engineering, real estate agent, rebar supplier, structural engineering, wind surveyor