It was supposed to be "the tallest tower in the Western Hemisphere", second only to Dubai's Burj Khalifa. Now all there is, is a sad, giant hole.
In 2007, this enormous approximately 110 foot wide and 6 feet deep hole was initally meant to host a very tall tower building, the Santiago Calatrava-designed (and now-canceled) Chicago Spire, giving space to over a thousand homes right there in the heart of Chicago. It was to be 2,000 feet tall, making it "the tallest tower in the Western Hemisphere", second only to Dubai's Burj Khalifa. A year later, the economic crisis hit and the plans were never realized. The construction work stopped, leaving behind a scary hole.
Obviously, it is something neighbours aren't too happy about, when they look out the window. Some even nicknamed it the ''hell-pit''. Things are changing now, but no building is being built.
In March, Chicago Tribune wrote: "Workers last week started moving dirt to form a landscaped berm that will block the view of the 110-foot diameter hole from a row of 10 Streeterville row homes on the 400 block of East North Water Street.
Eager to dampen excitement that the arrival of work crews might signal a more permanent use of the prime location between the Chicago River and the Ogden Slip harbor, Related Midwest Vice President Nick Anderson recently wrote to neighbors, explaining that workers are simply building a berm and planting trees as "a natural visual screen at their front doors opening to our parcel." At least some neighbours won't see the hole anymore (which can't be said for Chicagoans from the surrounding high-rise buildings).
There were, however, some interesting ideas about what to do with the ''hell-pit''. For example, last year, Chicago architects offered six out-of-the-box solutions, including a seven-level subterranean amphitheater by SPACE Architects + Planners, an urban island by VOA, a swimming hole by UrbanLab, a Chicago Beacon by Solomon Cordwell Buenz, and a high-tech hot tub by CLUAA.
We do wonder what will become of the pit eventually.