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November 28, 2014

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Trump eager to see his Chicago sign, which mayor hates

Image

Stacy Thacker / AP

Newly installed 20-foot-tall letters spelling out T-R-U-M-P are seen on the side of real estate billionaire Donald Trump’s skyscraper Thursday, June 12, 2014, in Chicago.

CHICAGO — Donald Trump is coming to Chicago to see his name in lights.

"I want to see it," the billionaire developer told the Associated Press on Friday of his visit, planned in about two weeks, to view the 20-foot-tall letters that spell T-R-U-M-P on his skyscraper along the Chicago River. "People are loving it and I am going to look at it."

Trump has been in a spat with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel over the installation of the giant sign, with the mayor calling it "architecturally tasteless" and Trump saying the "world-class sign" is a valuable addition to the Chicago skyline.

Ever since the letters started going up earlier this month, drawing criticism from Emanuel and a newspaper architecture critic, Trump and his sign have been the topic of national news reports and were even the subject of a report on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."

And Trump couldn't be happier. "It's been met with tremendous praise. ... The story's been played all over the world."

Trump said he's not the only winner.

"It's been a very positive thing for Chicago because the building is an amazing building and the sign is a world-class sign," he said.

Trump said he has heard reports that the city might move ahead with an ordinance that could ban such signs in the future, but reiterated what he's said all along — and what the city has acknowledged: He received the permits to build what he put up.

The developer said he doesn't see any chance of being forced to tear down or shrink the sign, something that was suggested after Emanuel's office said the mayor had directed his staff to "determine if there are any options available for further changes."

Trump also said he has not talked to Emanuel since last week, when the mayor made his comments about the sign and Trump suggested the city would be in for a legal fight if it tried to remove a sign that was approved by the city when Richard M. Daley was mayor and again after Emanuel took office.

But he suggested that maybe even in Chicago, where people are taking pictures of the sign, opinions about it are changing in his favor. "People that were against it are now loving it," he said, "because of the quality and because of the look."

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