Monday, August 19, 2019

Chicago should landmark sign at Trump Tower

Trump Tower, June 2014
     As a rule, I try not to have rules. That’s what makes this column such a draught of delight.
     The closest I come to having a rule is this: Never advocate the impossible.
     Because the impossible doesn’t happen. Then you look like a fool.
     So when impossible ideas strike, I’m smart enough to bat them away.
     Usually. But not always.
     Like so many, I’ve been chafing under the despicable madness that is the administration of Donald Trump. Brooding over the enormous Trump sign that mars an otherwise beautiful building in the heart of the city, it struck me: We should take that thing down. Now.
     Why not? We are a city filled with lawyers and officials. Sure, attempts have been made. Keep trying. I called the mayor’s office and the zoning department, the corporation counsel and Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd), who introduced the bill allowing the sign. I was particularly eager to hear from Reilly — is this not his shot at redemption? Imagine what a great day in Chicago that would be. A genuine riverside celebration, unlike former Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Fire Festival squib and failure. Picture the citizens gathered, cheering as one by one the letters fall.
     Might the argument not be made that “TRUMP” does not mean in 2019 what it meant when the monstrosity went up in 2014? That it is now the language of hate, chanted by bigots as they attack their cringing victims, a balm to racists worldwide.
     Reilly remained mum. But the law department not only got back to me, but with an unexpected ray of hope.
     “The City of Chicago evaluated its legal options after this sign was erected in 2014 and determined that steps could be taken in an attempt to force the sign to be removed,” spokesman Bill McCaffrey said in a statement. “Forcing removal of the sign now would likely result only in its replacement with a slightly smaller version as well as litigation that would cost the City in time and resources that are disproportionate to any incremental benefit of a smaller sign.”

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  1. 1. I sure hop[e this was sarcasm!
    2. The city is run by cowards. Go to court, no matter what the cost! The sign is obscenely oversized, just like his insane narcissism.
    3. Walking or driving on Wacker or Wabash north of Lake is ruined by it.
    4. I don't know if renaming the east side of the 400 of Wabash after Obama is legal, as he's alive, so name it after his father, Barack Obama Senior!
    5. Which is also the solution for renaming the block in Manhattan of Fifth Ave, just put the "Sr." in agate type on the signs.

  2. Landmarking it is a good start. Visiting a wall such as the Vietnam Wall or the Korean War Wall is a sobering experience. Each name is a story.
    Why not inscribe on the wall of the building the names of those who lost health insurance, of those who died in mass shootings, of those who were separated from their parents, etc.
    The message should be clear. Never again.

  3. I am going to recommend the impossible, especially designed for Clark Street, who regards the City of Chicago as inadequately brave. So, Clarkie boy, how about you and I organize a "T" party to remove not the whole sign, but just the "T." First thought would be to use the window washer's equipment, but it's unlikely that either of us could manage that plus we wouldn't want the washing crew to lose their jobs. But perhaps we could find out who lives in the apartments closest to the "T" and hope they are reasonable people who would allow us to deface their building without ratting us out. If that doesn't work out, maybe we could find somebody with a drone that could be outfitted to spray over the "T." What do you say? Oh, OK, let's landmark it, as Neil suggests, though that too would surely incur litigation expenses. Any litigators out there willing to volunteer their time? Or daredevils willing to unscrew a "T."


    1. I'm with Tate. Just somehow permanently remove the "T". That should do it.

    2. Maybe we can get the fire department to try to blast it off of the building, the way Jane Byrne tried to get that idiot climbing the Hancock Building down.

  4. When Trump is sitting in prison for inciting the riots that are sure to come in 2020, after it becomes apparent to him that he can't win the election, the abominable sign will come down, leaving behind dirty ghost-letters that permanently stain the building and our history.

    1. Hold that thought Tony, I’m right there with you.

  5. I'm almost positive there was an "Adolf Hitler Platz" in Berlin, which translates to place or square or space...the German equivalent of the Spanish "plaza"...but I don't believe Nazi Germany ever had a "Hitler Building", so Dolt 45 has topped Adolf.

    The Third Reich architects in Berlin drew up the blueprints for an enormous complex of government structures that would have dwarfed Vatican City, and been the nerve center of "Greater Germany"--but did they also include a Hitler Building? My guess is that they did.

    Every time I see those five letters on that building, I want to throw up. If he wins another term, I wouldn't be surprised to see the addition of an exclamation point.

    1. Far worse are the forests in Germany, where they planted trees with different color leaves in a swastika pattern. It's only seen from the sky.
      The only way to get rid of them is to clear cut the area.

    2. Just like the forests in upstate New York, where the path of an EF-5 tornado has been visible since 1845, that twisted cross will be visible for centuries to come...unless there's a massive deforestation project. Germany underwent a thorough 'denazifiction' program after the war, so I'm surprised those trees are still standing. Maybe they figure that if you can only see that swastika pattern from the sky, nobody will know. And eventually, nobody will care. And then history can repeat itself.

    3. Oops. Make that "denazification"--the process of 'denazifying'--bringing the leaders of the National Socialist regime in Germany to justice and of purging all elements of Nazism from public life. It was carried out between 1945 and 1948.

  6. There will be, sadly, no shortage of reminders of the Trump administration strewn throughout the land, of every nature: inanimate and human, physical and mental. "President Trump" will be a permanent blotch on the American historical record. All we can do at this point is try to limit the blotch's size.

  7. Here in Oak Park we are removing paintings that were created in the '30s for the WPA because they now cause discomfort to citizens who do not see themselves represented in them. Couldn't we likewise remove the Trump Tower sign due to the emotional distress that it causes? The MAGA right loves to accuse anyone who points out Trump's latest idiotic episode of suffering from TDS - Trump Derangement Syndrome. I think we can claim widespread TDS as a just cause for the sign's removal.

  8. Let it remain a reminder for the non voters that caused that jackass to torture us to VOTE!! Tom S.


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