Back in June 2014, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel ripped the sign on Trump Tower which spelled out Trump’s name as being “tasteless” and—despite the city already having approved the signage—declared he would seek any possibilities of forcing its removal.
“Mayor Emanuel believes this is an architecturally tasteful building scarred by an architecturally tasteless sign,” spokeswoman Kelley Quinn said. “The sign – which was already reduced in size and scope – does comply with the provisions of the planned development ordinance and the City Council sign order, but he has asked his staff to determine if there are any options available for further changes.”
Then in September 2014, King Emanuel announced a new city ordinance that would prevent future Trump-like signs along the Chicago River.
The fact that people bothered to critique the sign is, well, a sign of the times (pun fully intended). For liberals, you are NOT entitled to your opinion if it contradicts my opinion because my opinion is always right. So the liberal Emanuel, emboldened by a critique of the sign by Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin, decided to take the conservative Trump to task for his sign.
Remember, Emanuel decried the sign as “architecturally tasteless.” Aside from signs that may be phallic in imagery, the phrase “architecturally tasteless” is completely subjective. Building architecture, by definition, is often viewed as “works of art,” and art is wholly subjective. Some people love Vincent Van Gogh’s style of art and loathe Pablo Picasso’s style, and vice-versa…while still others may love both. There is no standard when it comes to art. So what Emanuel perceives as “architecturally tasteless” may be perceived as “architecturally tasteful” to others (like me).
Predictably, Emanuel did what liberals love to do: create more legislation and rules. What these liberals don’t realize is that while such legislation is consistent with their worldview, it is inconsistent with the real world. For example, Kamin’s issue with the metal signage on the Trump building is that it clashes with the “cluster of 1920s skyscrapers” and might spoil the view for the city’s Riverwalk. But look at the picture above of the James R. Thompson Center in downtown. The all-glass exterior evokes a definite modern feel reminiscent of a spaceship, yet it is next-door neighbors to many traditional stone buildings built in the 1900s and 1910s. If Emanuel were to be consistent, he would blast the Thompson Center for being “architecturally tasteless” too and push legislation that would ban modern buildings sitting next to traditional buildings.
Of course, anyone with Minor Insights would see how ridiculous an argument that is. Yet it is the same ridiculous logic that Emanuel uses to conveniently blast the Trump sign.
But wait…there’s more.
There are plenty of signs on riverfront buildings. Look on the left photo. It’s a shot of a building that says “Loews” on it, right along the river. Logically speaking, it too clashes with the “cluster of 1920s skyscrapers” and could spoil the view for the city’s Riverwalk. Did Emanuel blast Loews? Yeah, I missed that press conference too.
How about this photo on the right? It’s a shot of the Westin Hotel, right along the river. Logically speaking, it also has a name attached to it, just as Trump’s does. Did Emanuel take Westin to task? Hm, I don’t recall him ever blasting Westin either.
There are other buildings along the river with names on them but I don’t have room to display all the photos in this post. But I took these two shots right next to the Trump tower…which somehow draws all the attention despite neighbors that do the same thing Trump did.
Some liberals howl that it’s the size of the sign that is so offensive. They argue that the sign takes up nearly 2,900 square feet and half-jokingly say that the sign is big in order to match Trump’s ego.
What these liberals don’t realize is that the Trump building contains 2.6 million square feet of floor space. A 2,900 square foot sign on the second tallest building in the western hemisphere is merely one-tenth of one percent (0.001) of the size of the building. If you view the infamous letters in person, it actually looks very proportionate to the size of the mammoth building from which the letters hang. This is cause for a new city ordinance?
The bottom line
Emanuel’s clash with Trump has nothing to do with architecture but everything to do with ideology and political worldviews. As a liberal, Emanuel jumped at any opportunity to try to dump on the conservative Trump. Whether you are a liberal, conservative or moderate, the facts are the facts. And just as ABC7 revealed that the hypocrisy that Emanuel’s motorcade “regularly” runs red lights and speeds (AND has all those tickets thrown out) despite his public comments about the importance of not running red lights and speeding for safety purposes, the facts here show that hypocrisy again reigned in Emanuel’s lame attempt to diss Trump.
Tangential note: after Emanuel was caught by ABC7 for running red lights, Emanuel put a nice public spin on it, saying that he told his drivers: “I said, ‘Follow the law, nobody’s above the law, slow down, period.” But several months later, ABC7 caught Emanuel’s motorcade violating the law eight more times! What a bold, two-faced hypocrite. Emanuel, who—in another display of hypocrisy—didn’t even meet the city residence requirements before running for mayor, is easily the worst mayor Chicago has ever seen, which is saying something.