A developer’s plan to build a seven-story contemporary apartment addition above Chicago’s landmarked Union Station has a lot of people crying foul.
In addition to being criticized by journalists like Blair Kamin of the Chicago Tribune, Elizabeth Blasius of the Architect’s Newpaper, and designer Edward Keegan in a Crain’s op-ed column, the proposal is getting roasted on social media—as noted by Block Club Chicago.
Twitter users were quick to hurl insults regarding the Solomon Cordwell Buenz design, drawing comparisons to a bad hat, a toaster oven, a self-inking address stamp, the unloved former Apparel Center, and the 2003’s contentious “flying saucer” addition to Chicago’s Neoclassical Soldier Field.
Others created photoshops showing the 1925 Beaux Arts station as a pedestal for other controversial Chicago projects like Santiago Calatrava’s failed Spire and Helmut Jahn’s polarizing Thompson Center.
Looking beyond the initial knee jerk reactions and pithy comments, the Union Station overhaul will be a key battle for preservationists with the potential to set future precedents with regards to what can be done to Chicago’s protected, historically significant buildings.
The decision to move ahead ultimately lies with the city, so if you’re truly horrified give Alderman Brendan Reilly and the Chicago Landmarks Commission a call.
I was anxiously awaiting the reveal ---and the moment I saw it I was like that's it? That's what we've been waiting over a year for? Yikes. It's like the top of the Apparel Center got plopped on the roof of Union Station. @fox32news @BlairKamin https://t.co/ccON7c7jlT— C. McPherrin FOX 32 (@coreymcpherrin) June 27, 2018
It’s sort of like they looked at Norman Foster’s Hearst Tower in NYC, and said, “OK, let’s find a way to phone this in a bit more.” https://t.co/NCPEX3CS05— Zach Mortice (@zachmortice) June 26, 2018
*Sees the proposal for the redesign of Chicago's Union Station*— Chicago Tweed (@Tweed_Thornton) June 26, 2018
Hasn't classical Chicago architecture suffered enough?! pic.twitter.com/H3MH38KcY4
How do two firms I respect so much, with all the resources in the world, bungle this so badly? The Union Station addition is boring and bad and looks like a friggin toaster.https://t.co/PKctgw8Y07 pic.twitter.com/kmkM8KbsYI— Kyle Terry (@SmarterStadiums) June 26, 2018
My proposal for the Union Station addition: This, but three flats pic.twitter.com/g1pGJ6fc1L— Daniel Kay Hertz (@DanielKayHertz) June 26, 2018
One of the rejected union station redevelopment plans included buying Metras old rail cars and converting them into hotel rooms pic.twitter.com/2MoTBMjh0h— Chicago Aussie (@jbrandtman) June 26, 2018
The only good thing about this awful design for Union Station is that it can act as a dare for future generations to add something even more absurd on top in another 30 or 40 years pic.twitter.com/AgCNLDRGFE— big pretty bridges liker (@a_sleepy_ghost) June 26, 2018
Calatrava's proposal for the Union station redevelopment just leaked pic.twitter.com/G96pqKM8sL— Chicago Aussie (@jbrandtman) June 27, 2018
Late Entry to the Union Station Project— MAS Context (@MASContext) June 26, 2018
(Please, redesign the embarrassing proposed addition) pic.twitter.com/oUqo8fcqf4
May our collective hatred of the Union Station rendering unite this divided country— Will trade avocados for keeping print alive. (@AnjulieRao) June 26, 2018
- The Internet Isn’t A Fan Of Union Station Redesign: It Looks Like A ‘Dopey Derby Hat,’ A Fishtank, A Spaceship [Block Club Chicago]
- Will a proposed addition turn Chicago’s Union Station into the new Soldier Field? [The Architect’s Newspaper]
- An insult to Chicago’s architectural bona fides [Crain’s]