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Trump Tower, Chicago

I’m pretty proud of this photo.  Took it myself with my trusty Nikon D40.  It was a challenge because I was shooting through a window and had to conquer the reflections issue.  Not bad for a total amateur huh?

But the real story is the amazing Destination. Some friends invited us to share their rented apartment in Trump Tower in Chicago.  As you can see, the view was spectacular.  I could hardly tear myself away to do all the fun things that one can do in Chicago.

Trump Tower is a stunning building housing a hotel with 339 rooms,  482 luxury residential condos, retail, spa and a restaurant.  It’s been interesting watching it go up in its prime spot on the Chicago River where the 92-story building replaced an old Chicago Sun-Times clunker.

I’ve always felt somehow “close” to the Trumps. Well, slightly connected. I mean really remotely connected. Actually, not at all connected.    Goes back to the days in the late 1980s when the Press used to send me into NYC to cover the big Fashion Shows.  This was when The Donald and Ivana were still married and they owned the Plaza Hotel in NYC.

Ivana took it on her self to promote the Plaza, enticing most of the big name designers to hold their flamboyant fashion extravaganzas there.  She would make regular appearances in the Press Room, answer questions and chat with even lowly mid market Midwest Fashion reporters like me.  It was a hoot to add her comments and attire in my fashion show coverage.  She was wonderfully flamboyant and very gracious, but, of course, hyping her hotel.

So, I now find myself in a another  hotel–a fabulous setting in the building owned by Ivana’s former husband,  the guy with the worst hairdo in the world–trying to capture the amazing view of  Chicago landmarks with my little camera.

I loved experiencing the building even though I found the lobby to be a bland,  confusing labyrinth of small spaces, elevator lobbies and uninspiring décor.  While the building is situated on the river, the view in the lobby is back towards the city and well, ugly. Clearly an area waiting to be developed.  Mostly the lobby consists of  “pass through” spaces, which is quite different from the trend in many hotels today.  Many hotels owners design their lobbies to be “DESIGN STATEMENTS” where they hope cool folks will hang out. This one is not.

The restaurant, however, was quite lovely and a great spot to view the city.

We didn’t eat in the oh-so-chic restaurant, located on the 16th floor and cleverly called Sixteen (l0l), but popped into see the humungous Swarovski crystal chandelier, the modernist décor and the floor to ceiling walls of wine bottles.  Low key and nicely done, not at all what one might expect of the “addicted to gaudy” approach of many of Trump’s projects.  The Terrace looked like a great spot to hang out in warmer weather.

We also checked out fitness center overlooking Michigan Avenue, spa and a stunning pool.  Serene and welcoming.   Wouldn’t mind working out here especially if a spa appointment was part of the deal.

But mostly I liked the view out our window and trying to capture its essence.

Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.


  1. posted by
    Georgia Gietzen
    Feb 24, 2010 Reply

    Your pictures turned out spectacular!!! The view was absolutely AWESOME. We were “flying high”!! Let’s do it again sometime.

  2. posted by
    Cindy Schad
    Feb 25, 2010 Reply

    Your pictures could grace the pages of National Geographic! A new career?

  3. posted by
    Feb 26, 2010 Reply

    Don’t I wish!

  4. posted by
    Lyle Boatman
    Mar 2, 2010 Reply

    I have always loved Chicago and you have reminded me again what a great, and accessible, city it has become. Great pictures. I want to vist this destination, even in winter!

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