There is a giant 76-foot-deep hole in downtown Chicago and nobody knows what to do with it

There is a deep 76-foot-deep hole in downtown Chicago.

And nobody knows what to do with this gaping cavity!

spire chicago hole, 76-Foot-Deep Hole in Chicago, Chicago most famous hole in the ground, giant hole chicago, chicago deep hole, chicago downtown hole, No One Knows What to Do With This 76-Foot-Deep Hole in Chicago, deep hole chicago spire, spire giant hole chicago,
Forgemind ArchiMedia/CC

From the air – or from Google Earth – this 76-foot-deep hole that has sat abandoned since the 2008 financial crisis is impossible to overlook.

Actually, it was planned to build at this exact place a 2,000 foot supertall skyscraper called the Spire, the tallest building in the US and the second tallest in the world. But the financial crisis cam, saw and conquered.

So now, what should be done with it?

What happens to Chicago’s most famous hole in the ground won’t be decided anytime soon.

spire chicago hole, 76-Foot-Deep Hole in Chicago, Chicago most famous hole in the ground, giant hole chicago, chicago deep hole, chicago downtown hole, No One Knows What to Do With This 76-Foot-Deep Hole in Chicago, deep hole chicago spire, spire giant hole chicago,
AP Photo/Shelbourne, Brian Kersey.

In the eight years since, the work site has sat relatively untouched. If you drove by it, you might mistake it for an empty lot with some fencing at its center, weeds and gravel scattered across the grey surface of the soil.

spire chicago hole, 76-Foot-Deep Hole in Chicago, Chicago most famous hole in the ground, giant hole chicago, chicago deep hole, chicago downtown hole, No One Knows What to Do With This 76-Foot-Deep Hole in Chicago, deep hole chicago spire, spire giant hole chicago, No One Knows What to Do With This 76-Foot-Deep Hole in Chicago
Scott Olson/Getty Images
spire chicago hole, 76-Foot-Deep Hole in Chicago, Chicago most famous hole in the ground, giant hole chicago, chicago deep hole, chicago downtown hole, No One Knows What to Do With This 76-Foot-Deep Hole in Chicago, deep hole chicago spire, spire giant hole chicago, No One Knows What to Do With This 76-Foot-Deep Hole in Chicago
Google Maps

It’s an eyesore, to be sure, but it’s unclear what should be done with it. Should it simply be removed and paved over, as though it never happened? Should a building be build with the same footprint as the original Spire? Should the new owner try to resurrect the project?

A few Ideas

The proposals, which you can see in full here, included:

  • Installing a data center inside the hole to turning into an amphitheater.
  • Turning the foundation into a “swimming hole”
spire chicago hole, 76-Foot-Deep Hole in Chicago, Chicago most famous hole in the ground, giant hole chicago, chicago deep hole, chicago downtown hole, No One Knows What to Do With This 76-Foot-Deep Hole in Chicago, deep hole chicago spire, spire giant hole chicago, No One Knows What to Do With This 76-Foot-Deep Hole in Chicago
Martin Felsen and Sarah Dunn of UrbanLab
  • Installing a hydroelectric power plant inside the hole. The idea would be to filter lake water, again, but also generate power.
  • Creating a sanctuary for birds inside the space
spire chicago hole, 76-Foot-Deep Hole in Chicago, Chicago most famous hole in the ground, giant hole chicago, chicago deep hole, chicago downtown hole, No One Knows What to Do With This 76-Foot-Deep Hole in Chicago, deep hole chicago spire, spire giant hole chicago, No One Knows What to Do With This 76-Foot-Deep Hole in Chicago
Hoerr Schaudt at Peter Schaudt

For now, the Spire’s going to remain an empty dot on the shore of Lake Michigan.

At the very least, it’s serving one useful for purpose: A perfectly circular warning about the risks of over-optimistic development during boom times.

Follow us: Facebook and Twitter

SHARE

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here