Tall Tower Tossed

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According to an article in today’s Chicago Tribune, ne’er-do-well developer J. Paul Beitler’s plan to plant a 2,000-foot TV antenna in the middle of Streeterville is no more. In the face of stiff opposition by local residents and limp interest from area broadcasters, the plan was shelved in favor of a more-prosaic (though likey no sexier) 58-story condo plan.

Though judging by Beitler’s track record as reported in the February 6 Crain’s Chicago Business, I wouldn’t bet the mortgage on that tower, either. With only two major developments to his credit since 1990–and just one in this millennium–future residents of Santiaga Calatrava’s hotly anticipated Fordham Spire probably needn’t worry about having a Beitler tower next door any time soon.

Perhaps Beitler’s dictionary is missing the page with the definition of superfluous on it, or it could be he’s spent a little too much time north of the 49th parallel. At least Calgary Tower and Toronto’s CN Tower had a reason–when they went up, no other super-tall buildings yet existed in their cities to slap an antenna onto. This is a problem in Chicago?

Besides, doesn’t the idea of a signature over-the-air broadcast tower strike you, too, as more than a little…20th Century? Does Beitler find VCRs and answering machines cutting edge, too?

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