If Governor Rauner’s notion of selling off Helmut Jahn’s 332-foot-tall spaceship from Planet 1980s Postmodern generates anything more than wind, the slowly crumbling shopping mall surrounded by cordons and metal detectors and offices for state workers would be sold to the highest bidder, who would dig a gaping hole and then fill the square block back up with something taller, bigger, very much for-profit, and just as likely to be its own anachronistic eyesore of chromium averageness in three decades time. Then there’s the promise of unpredictable, infernal disruption of Loop CTA lines, surrounding streets, and perhaps that most hallowed of phrases in the construction trade, “cost overruns.” (It’ll certainly burn through more than the $89 million it cost to build the Thompson Center.) Make-work taken from the hands of the State of Illinois and placed in the not-so-invisible hand of the market would result in several years of jobs (and so many unions to battle for sport). Still, it seems like a lot of fuss. Maybe we could just slap a few coats of bright white on the Dubuffet’s “Monument with Standing Beast” and call it a day.
100 W. Randolph
Best of Chicago 2015