Fourth Presbyterian Tower: Still Dead

Last week I told you about how the Fourth Presbyterian Church has given up on its plan to build a 64-story tower across the street from the 100-story John Hancock Center and the 66-story tower at 900 North Michigan Avenue.  Since then, I’ve been given a copy of a letter from Pastor John Buchanan that has some interesting details in it.

  • The reasons cited for abandoning the tower plan are politics, the economy, and time.
  • The church had been working on the tower plan for eight years.
  • Alderman Brendan Reilly refused to meet with Fourth Presbyterian to talk about the tower.

According to Pastor Buchanan, “Attempts to met with him to present the new proposal and to discuss the church’s mission and goals have been unsuccessful.”  Didn’t we elect Reilly to represent all the people?  Doesn’t that mean he should listen to both sides of an issue?  Isn’t blind one-sidedness the reason we kicked out Burt Natarus?

If the alderman won’t even look at the new proposal, how does he know it’s bad?  How could he use his position of power to help kill this project?  Was he operating on hearsay?  I wasn’t information from the paper, because both the Sun-Times and the Tribune endorsed the project.

The church still has its space problem to solve, and will move forward putting together a new plan for that. It will likely involve a piece of property purchased along Chicago Avenue.  Assuming it, too, is not in the heart of NIMBY country.

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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