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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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Each floor is rotated about two degrees from the one below, forming a tapered tower which twists 270° from the base to the roof.
  • Chicago Spire would have been the tallest building in the United States and the Western Hemisphere.
  • 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.
  • This building would have had the longest elevator run in the world.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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More Information


400 North Lake Shore Drive
446 East North Water Street
400 North Lake Shore Drive
Near North Side

Technical Data

2,000.03 ft
2,000.03 ft
Jul 2007

Involved Companies

Santiago Calatrava S.A.
Perkins & Will

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