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Trump Tower a Delicate Matter for Chicago Tour Guides

You can add Chicago tour guides to the list of people made miserable by the 2016 presidential election. 

The city’s popular architecture cruises drift past a number of pioneering buildings flanking the Chicago River. And one unavoidable skyscraper on the itinerary happens to bear the name of a certain polarizing presidential nominee spelled out in giant letters on its side. 

“It is stressful going by Trump tower,” a riverboat docent named Charlie Vergos told the Chicago Sun-Times. “You have to kind of calm everybody down preemptively.”

Some passengers clap, he says. Others boo. Everybody tenses up. 

In more extreme cases, people have been known to give the building the finger, chant “build the wall,” and ask about burning the place down. One guy gave it a Nazi salute.

Other guides who spoke with the Sun-Times said they’ve tried to defuse the tension with humor, stay above the fray by focusing on the architecture, or flat out plead with passengers to leave their politics at the dock.

What’ll happen on the tours after the election?

Says guide Billy Dean: “If [Trump] wins, [the tower] becomes political forever. If he loses, I’m going to make fun of it. I don’t know what it is about the American spirit, but the second someone’s a loser they’re totally fair game.”