When this project was originally announced, it was proclaimed as a future world's tallest building. After the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001 the plans were scaled down a few hundred feet.
The spire rises from a glassy cylinder, surrounded at its base by a futuristic screen wall covering the mechanical elements.
As the tower rises, the floorplan tapers gradually in four steps at heights of 65, 121, 201 and 338 meters.
Setbacks at three levels are designed to give the tower a visual continuity with its surroundings by matching the heights of the Wrigley Building's main block, the twin towers of Marina City, and the IBM Building.
The tower was constructed on the site formerly occupied by the low-rise headquarters of the Chicago Sun-Times, one of the city's two major newspapers.
The building was originally planned with a large office section on the lower floors, but sales of the residential portion performed so well that the office floors were dropped from the plan.
An abandoned freight tunnel, roughly 40 to 45 feet under the surface, runs partway below the site.
Residential floors on the mid-levels above the Trump International Hotel are convertible to hotel usage at the discretion of the unit owners.
A unique asymmetric shape gives the building a different appearance from each angle. Because of its site it forms a dramatic terminus to looking south, and to the Chicago River looking west from its mouth.
A projecting stainless steel latticework on the facade gives the building's surface an impression of depth, reinforced by the metalwork's reflection in the glass facade.
The first rock caisson for the tower, sunk into the bedrock, was started on March 17, 2005 around 2 pm.
Residential units on the 89th floor broke a 37-year world record held by the John Hancock Center for the world's highest homes off ground level.
The silvery color of the stainless steel facade forms a transition between the brilliant white terra cotta of the Wrigley Building to the east and the black AMA Plaza to the west.
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