Thursday, January 10, 2008

Zell to Demolish Former Tribune Competitor?

The ink is barely dry on Sam Zell's purchase of the Tribune Company, and now he wants to tear down the former Chicago Daily News building, known as 2 N. Riverside Plaza. Apparently, he isn't happy just owning the largest newspaper in town; now he wants to erase all memories of its competitors. Too bad Donald Trump flattened the old Sun-Times building before Zell got the chance.

The article notes that 2 N. Riverside Plaza has served as Zell's headquarters for many years (I guess he isn't the sentimental type). I interviewed there with one of his companies in 1996. American Classic Voyages ran riverboat cruises on the Mississippi and its tributaries (after a sale or two, I think it is now part of Majestic America Line). I found it odd that the recruiter gave me more material about Zell than about the company. I guess I was supposed to be impressed by his maverick personality -- the recruiter certainly was.

I love all of Chicago's Art Deco architecture so I hope Mayor Daley talks Zell out of demolishing 2 N. Riverside Plaza.

UPDATE - I just had a thought... I wonder if Zell will use 2 N. Riverside Plaza as leverage to get the state to take over Wrigley Field. So far, Daley is against that, but maybe Zell is willing to "save" 2 N. Riverside if Daley has a change of heart. Or maybe Daley already has.