Thursday, January 5, 2017

Trump And The Wrigley Building

So, I am in Chicago for the ASSA/AEA meetings, which I missed last year because a year ago today I was having (successful) open heart surgery.  Anyway, on my way to get program and registration at the Hyatt Regency earlier this evening, I saw the iconic Wrigley Building, and then next to it a Trump hotel or whatever, with his name in seriously Yuge letters on it next door to the Wrigley building, and I mean like a couple of stories of the building worth of TRUMP.  Really, worse than you can imagine.

So, there is an irony here given all the controversies over possible Russian hacking of the US election to help Trump win (which ultimately in my view had to do with her multiple weaknesses as a candidate plus the Comey intervervention in the last two weeks). It is that the most of the largest buildings in Moscow are 7 so-called "Stalin Gothic" style, which include the Foreign Ministry building, but others of a variety of functions, including hotels and apartment builidings.  They have long provided the high points of the visual landscape of Moscow.

So, the big joke is that they are all modeled on Chicago's Wrigley building. They are all a bit bigger than it, but there is no question: it is their model.  As it is, this looks like some sort of ironic Gen-X fantasy, that the incoming president of the US, an apparent total pawn/sycophant of the current Russian leader, has a big building with his name big time emblazoned on it, right next door to the model for the dominant buildings in the capital city of the country whom he is  now widely viewed as falling all over himself to please.

Barkley Rosser 

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I grew up in the Chicago area, but I always thought the Tribune Tower looked a lot more Stalin Gothic than the nearby Wrigley Building. Tribune Tower has the same kind of heavy, "I am powerful, you are nothing" style so beloved by the US Army back in the 1950s. The Wrigley Building has a beautiful open porch area outside. And it's so clean and pristine looking compared to the dead, cement colored Tribune Tower.

john c. halasz said...

The building behind the Wrigley building has been there for a long time, at least since the early '90's IIRC. I didn't know that Trump had bought it.

Don Coffin said...

I believe that's where the Chicago Sun-Times building used to be. It reminds me a lot of the Marriott on Times Square (except that it doesn't have a black façade).

rosserjb@jmu.edu said...

Well, the building with Trump's name emblazoned on it is nearly twice as tall as the Wrigley building, sort of dwarfs it. The Trump name letters are two stories tall.

One of the more prominent Stalin gothic buildings in Moscow is the main building of Moscow State University, the alma mater of my wife, Marina, which is up on Sparrow Hills, Lenin Hills for many decades, with a great view of the city.

The matter of this Trump building has engendered a lot of comments here at the ASSA/AEA meetings, with it staring one in the face when one exits from the main hotel of the conference, the Hyatt Regency. Ran into fellow Econospeaker, Peter Dorman, in the book exhibits yesterday where we had a long conversation with this building a prime topic.

Talked to some other folks who have identified themselves as among our readers, more often than not when Mark Thoma links to our posts on Economists View. I do need to express my gratitude to him for publicizing our site on a regular basis.

Bob Michaelson said...

I rather doubt that Moscow's "Stalin Gothic" is modeled on the Wrigley Building, though if you can provide evidence for that I'd be interested. The Wrigley Building was constructed 1919-1924, with chief designer Charles G. Beersman of Graham, Anderson, Probst and White; the building was influenced by the Woolworth Building and especially by the Manhattan Municipal Building, with the tower directly influenced by the Giralda Tower of the Seville cathedral. The white color is a conscious echo of the "White City" - the World's Columbian Exposition, and there are six shades of white terra cotta creamy white at the bottom transitioning to blue-white at the top. It no longer belongs to the Wrigleys; it was sold in 2011 to a group of investors that does NOT include The Donald.
Chicago's Trump Tower is IMO the least ugly of any building designed for Trump; since Chicago is serious about architecture we wouldn't have tolerated the crap he builds in NYC. It was designed by Skidmore. Owings and Merrill, with lead designer Adrian Smith and structural engineering by Bill Baker.

rosserjb@jmu.edu said...

Bob,

Not going to provide links, but just go google and look at them. The 7 Stalin gothic buildings look like the Wrigley building, which was built before them. Anybody who looks at pics of both and does not see that is either blind, an idiot, or on some ideological rampage.

Maybe the Woolworth had some influence on the Wrigley, but in fact it is much closer to the Stalin gothics in appearance than it is to the Woolworth. Really. Please, anybody who doubts this, stop spouting off stupid drivel like Bob here and look at google photos of the buildings. I have been in them. Anybody else who turns up with this kind of nonsense I shall also harshly ridicule.

Bob Michaelson said...

Barkely - I said that the Wrigley Building was influenced "by the Woolworth Building and especially by the Manhattan Municipal Building." Read before you spout off, and look before you spout off. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manhattan_Municipal_Building You often say interesting things about economics, but you don't know much about architecture. Both the Wrigley, and Stalinist buildings in Moscow, were influenced by MMB, but Wrigley is a successful design, Stalinst buildings not so much.

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