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In Photos, A Brief History of Donald Trump's Big Dumb Sign

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All photos by Harry Carmichael for Curbed Chicago
All photos by Harry Carmichael for Curbed Chicago


Donald Trump's new sign has quickly become Chicago architecture's Public Enemy No. 1. With everyone from local elected representatives, to national media to Mayor Rahm Emanuel weighing in on the controversy, the Donald has taken a decidedly defensive, and arrogant stance regarding his sign, calling it "magnificent" and "popular". At this point, the sign controversy has hit fever pitch, with seemingly every major publication in the country weighing in on the ordeal. However, despite the recent news flurry, the sign didn't just appear overnight. Approved by the city in October, Crain's spilled the beans on the details of the sign back in February. The TRUMP letters first appeared at the base of the Adrian Smith designed tower during the first week of May. Since then, Chicago Tribune architect Blair Kamin helped stir the pot by publishing a negative review of the sign, and acknowledged that even the building's architect is trying to distance himself from the new sign. In typical Trump fashion, The Donald then went on to lambast Adrian Smith. Others have offered slight alterations to the sign. Who knew that five letters going on the side of a building could become such a polarizing item? However, it's important to keep in mind that Chicago is a city whose architecture is an integral part of its identity, and tampering with it is like poking at an anthill with a stick. After six weeks, the sign is now completely installed, and glowing brightly in the night. Despite the mayor's (and many Chicagoans') desire to have the sign removed, doing so will likely become a whole new battle in itself. Although the sign is large, in charge and certainly a bit absurd, is it time for Chicago to make peace with Donald Trump's sign? It might be.

·Donald Trump Buys A "T" For His River North Tower [Curbed Chicago]
·Donald Trump's Big Dumb Sign Is Going Up Right Now [Curbed Chicago]
·Previous Trump Tower coverage [Curbed Chicago]

Trump International Hotel & Tower

401 North Wabash Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611