CHICAGO (CBS) — CHICAGO (CBS) — With the mayor’s office exploring ways to force Donald Trump to change or take down the huge sign bearing his name on the Trump International Hotel & Tower, the billionaire real estate mogul was defending the sign as a “magnificent and popular” addition to his building.
As crews worked to install the final letter in the TRUMP sign on the Chicago River side of the skyscraper, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office confirmed they were looking at options that could force Trump to take it down, even though he already received city authorization to put it up.
“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.”
The billionaire developer shot back with his own response: “I just think Chicago has other problems they should be worried about — not a sign.”
Trump also took to Twitter to defend the sign, which consists of five 20-foot-high letters spelling out TRUMP. He noted his skyscraper replaced the old Chicago Sun-Times building, which was largely seen as an eyesore, and had its own prominent bright yellow sign.
“Before I bought the site, the Sun Times had the biggest, ugliest sign Chicago has ever seen. Mine is magnificent and popular,” Trump tweeted Thursday morning.
Colm O’Callaghan, managing director of the Trump Tower, said Trump has made a major contribution to the city.
“He’s taken this part of the town, which I think was inhabited by the Sun-Times building for a very long time – which was not a very aesthetically pleasing building – and he’s placed this beautiful, architecturally recognized building,” he said.
O’Callaghan there were no discussions underway between Trump and City Hall about possible changes to the sign.
“Everybody really likes the sign, and we’ve received nothing but very positive comments about the sign,” he added. “The sign looks great, and hopefully when the dust settles, people will be able to appreciate it for what it is.”
The Trump Tower is hardly alone in having a prominent sign displayed along the Chicago River. The Kemper building and Hotel 71 both have signs facing the river, bearing their name. The Apparel Center also bears a large sign for the Chicago Sun-Times, which is now headquartered there.