Redevelopment of Old Chicago Main Post Office
Second city to none, Chicago is on track to best the glacial pace of Roman construction, which has become a matter of proverb. If Rome was indeed not built in a day, what timelines should we be expecting? Let us consult specific historical precedents. Think of Spire as an obelisk—an unmistakable symbol of potency. Though the Romans whisked obelisks from Egypt practically overnight, it had taken the Egyptians some 1,000 years to perfect the craft of carving a monolith out of stone. The CTA Red Line extension is most like aqueducts: a democratic means of conveyance elevated high above ground. The aqueducts system took just shy of 300 years to complete. The U.S. Steel site, with its phased approach and intractable political pressures, follows the pattern of the three Punic Wars, whose campaigns against Carthage lasted 120 years. Our bet is on the old post office: its transformation into an entertainment destination recalls the bread and circuses of the Colosseum. That project was finished in merely twenty-six years. Friends, Romans, countrymen: see you in 2040!
Audience Choice: CTA Red Line extension to 130th Street
Best of Chicago 2014