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The building occupies the site vacated by the Chicago Sun-Times, one of the city's two major newspapers, and its location within the River North Gallery District places it in a neighborhood that has had a high concentration of art galleries since the 1980s.
The site, at the foot of Rush Street, is on the north side of the Chicago River just west of the Wrigley Building and the Michigan Avenue Bridge, and just east of Marina City and 330 North Wabash.
To add to the controversy, the planting was accompanied by a plan to light the trees to attract nighttime park visitors, in conflict with the "dark skies" movement to reduce light pollution to facilitate better stargazing.
Because the Trump Tower has both hotel condominiums and residential condominiums, it does not contest the record held by the 88-story 432 Park Avenue in New York City, which, at 1,396 feet (425.5 m), is the tallest residential building in the world.
When topped out in 2009, it became the fourth-tallest building in the US.
The building topped out in late 2008 and construction was completed in 2009.
The design of the building includes, from the ground up, retail space, a parking garage, a hotel and condominiums.
The 339-room hotel opened for business with limited accommodations and services on January 30, 2008, then full accommodation and services on April 28.
In 2010, the Plaza had earned special recognition at the Mayor Daley's Landscape Awards.
The press release noted the landscaping "for their magnificent new civic landscape that is a poetic interpretation of native Illinois that seems at once sophisticated and familiar." However, in 2011, the award-winning plantings of small sumac trees, ferns and native grasses with yellow, orange and red hues were removed and replaced with evergreens like junipers and boxwoods, pieces of gray stone, and purple perennials (catmint and salvia), which may require less watering.