Donald Trump was given permission to put his name in giant, one-story-tall letters on his downtown Chicago building, but as soon as the sign went up he began to get complaints from Mayor Rahm Emanuel and others.
When real estate mogul Donald Trump opened his Chicago Trump Tower in 2008, he applied to city regulators to put his name on the tower the next year. Not long afterward he was given permission to do so, but he has waited until this year to get the job done.
Critics say the giant letters are but so much Trump ego marring the city. In fact, the giant, 20-foot-tall letters are smaller than the size the city approved.
Even so, “The Donald” is getting criticism for the sign.
Last week, former Obama Chief of Staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel criticized the sign and told the media that he was looking into a new city ordinance that would prevent such signs in the future.
Before all five of the letters had even been installed, Emanuel let it be known that he wasn’t pleased with the results. “The mayor thinks the sign is awful,” mayoral spokesman Bill McCaffrey told the Chicago Tribune. “It’s in very poor taste and scars what is otherwise an architecturally accomplished building.”
Trump, though, pointed out that Emanuel’s own regulatory machine approved the sign, and if the mayor didn’t like it, then too darn bad. Trump also said that the sign is good for the city.
“It happens to be great for Chicago, because I have the hottest brand in the world,” Trump told The Wall Street Journal on June 10.
Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE), Trump’s own Chicago architect, agreed with Mayor Emanuel that the sign was “kind of tasteless.” However, Trump slammed Smith, saying, “I had more to do with the design of that building than Adrian Smith did. The best thing that ever happened to Adrian Smith is Donald Trump.”
Trump also noted that big signs existed in Chicago before he came around.
“Before I bought the site, the Sun Times had the biggest, ugliest sign Chicago has ever seen,” Trump tweeted on Thursday. “Mine is magnificent and popular.”
Fox News spoke to several folks on the streets of Chicago and found the giant Trump sign got mixed reviews. Some liked it; others weren’t so sure.
However, few in the media are as forgiving as the folks on the street. Blair Kamin of the Tribune called Trump’s sign “The Donald’s badge of dishonor” and bemoaned that the lettering meant, “Goodbye, graceful public space. Hello, schlock alley.”
The Tribune’s Rex Huppke jumped on the issue, saying the sign triggers his “gag reflex” and calling it a “Trumptastrophe.”
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