Walking around on Michigan Avenue is a veritable "feast" for the eyes. The architecture here is amazing. One of the buildings, The Chicago Tribune Tower, was one of my particular favorites. I became more intrigued when I saw the statue of Nathan Hale outside the building.
The Chicago Tribune Tower design was a result of a contest. In 1922, The Tribune began a design competition for the "most beautiful and eye-catching building in the world." The contest gave the winner $50,000 in prize money and garnered over 260 entries. The winner was a neo-Gothic design by Raymond Hood and John Howells. Construction on the actual Tribune Tower was completed in 1925 and reached a height of 462 feet (141 meters) above ground.
An interesting note here** before the Tribune Tower was built, correspondents for the Chicago Tribune brought back rocks and bricks from historical sites from around the world, these rocks, stones and bricks have been incorporated into the lowest levels of the building and are labeled where they came from. These include the Taj Mahal, the Parthenon, Abraham Lincoln's Tomb, the Great Wall of China and the Berlin Wall. Even a rock returned from the moon has been embedded in the building. The most recent addition was a piece from the New York World Trade Center (see photo.)
In this picture is a statue of Nathan Hale, a member of the Continental Army. Hale was executed by the British for spying during the Revolutionary War. He is considered an American hero. There is a larger statue of him outside the CIA Headquarters in Washington DC.
My one serious walking tour of Chicago began on a Sunday morning, on what turned into a beautiful sunny day with temperatures of about 16 C. Drifting over to Michigan Avenue, the first building to catch my eye was the Tribune Tower, an ornate structure calling itself home to the Chicago Tribune newspaper, a radio station and even an office of CNN. Maybe it is from seeing ornate cathedrals at various places in the world, but I liked its neo-Gothic design with flying buttresses way up near the top of this 462-ft tall 36-story building! There are also some other similar flourishes down low over the main doorway into the building (2nd & 3rd photos).
At the time, I didn't know that the Tribune Tower is the result of a worldwide design contest held in 1922 by the newspaper when it was looking for a new head office building and it offered a $50,000 prize for "the most beautiful and eye-catching building in the world". It turned out that a design based on the flying buttresses of the cathedral in Rouen, France beat out the other 260+ entries. Another unique feature of the building are stones and objects from various historic sites around the world embedded in the walls beside the door. My 4th photo shows a couple of them - a small white square from Westminster Abbey (London) and a lower and larger block from Edinburgh Castle (Scotland). Construction was completed in 1925 and it still looks like a grand old building!
To celebrate its 75th anniversary in 1922, the Chicago Tribune launched an international design competition, asking architects to come up with plans for the most beautiful office building in the world. Over 260 entries were submitted, and New York architects John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood ended up winning the competition with a Neo-Gothic design that allied the smooth facade of 20th century American buildings with the Gothic elements that could be found on European Gothic cathedrals, especially that of Rouen, France.
One feature that I thought was very interesting is the collection of over 100 rock fragments from famous sites around the world, ranging from the Berlin Wall and the Great Wall of China to the Great Pyramid of Giza and the World Trade Center, that are embedded in the walls of the Tribune Tower. I spent quite a few minutes walking along the base of the building, trying to locate rocks from places I'd visited - and I was incredibly proud to spot one that came from Quebec City's Seminaire!!
This neo-Gothic beauty is the home of the Chicago Tribune newspaper and impossible to miss. Built in 19922-1925, the architects - John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood - won a competition held by the Tribune for the design of their new headquarters.
Embedded into the walls at street level are artifacts from historic sites all over the world that were obtained by the newspaper's reporters. These include, among others, pieces from the Great Wall (China); the Parthenon (Greece); Notre Dame (France); the Colosseum (Italy); the World Trade Center (United States).
The tower's many embellishments were designed by Rene Paul Chamellan: his marvelous entrance with intricately entwined figures from Aesop's fables makes delicate lace of hard stone. It also contains two amusing picture puns of the architects' names in the form of a howling dog (Howells) and Robin Hood (Hood).
The lobby - known as the Hall of Inscriptions - is covered with engraved quotations mindful of the ethical obligations of a responsible press: reminders that a few publishers could use some brushing up on these days?
The base of the Tribune Tower contains fragments and bricks from over 130 historically significant landmarks all over the world, including:
Taj Mahal (India)
Bunker Hill (Boston)
Great Wall of China
There is also a moon rock located here. The picture is of a fragment from the Great Pyramid in Egypt. It is interesting to spend some time walking around the building to see what famous parts of the world are included here.
The Tribune Tower, headquarters for the Tribune Company, was finished in 1925. It is modeled after the Cathedral of Rouen, France. The design was actually part of a worldwide competition for the most beautiful office building in the world.
The building stands 463 feet, and includes flying buttresses and spires. The entrance is of Gothic style and is very elaborate. The base of the building contains fragments of important buildings and sites from all over the world. WGN Radio also has a studio here on the 1st floor, with a window to watch live broadcasts.
(See my other tips for more specific details of the building)
The Gothic entrance to the Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue is amazing. You have to see it up close to appreciate the detail in the work. There is also a statue of American patriot Nathan Hale standing outside.
The Tribune Tower is actually the result of a competition organized in 1922 by the Chicago Daily Tribune for the “most beautiful and eye-catching building in the world”. The Tower won the frist prize because of its gothic design mainly, but also because its fullfilled the needs of the newspaper. However, the award was criticized a lot as it was against the modernizing trend of the Chicago School and against the ideas of functional architecture which reduced decorations to the bare minimum.
The 141 meters high neo-gothic style building was completed in 1925.
The most particular thing about the Tribune Tower is that it contains many famous stones, including a moon rock, rock fragments from the Alamo, from the Colosseum and the Chinese Wall. Authentical elements of Westminster Abbey, the pyramids and the Taj Mahal have also been sealed in its walls !
Home of the Chicago Daily Tribune, Tribune Tower is a beautiful neo-gothic skyscraper. While the architecture is worth a look, what really makes the building worth stopping are actually the parts of the building that are not part of it!
Along the base of Tribune Tower are pieces of famous monuments throughout the world and beyond! You'll find pieces of the Egyptian Pyramids, China's Great Wall, India's Taj Mahal, and so many other world-reknown monuments. There are also pieces of many famous American monuments, such as Philadelphia's Independence Hall, the Alamo, and the World Trade Center Building. A moon rock is also on display!
A walk around the tower is a walk around the world, and it's completely free!
Another beautiful Chicago building. The Tribune Company is one of Chicago's biggest and most famous. They own the Chicago Tribune, newspaper, television and radio stations, & the Chicago Cubs, among other things.
There are a couple of things to do inside the Tribune Building. Check out the lobby with its beautiful tall ceilings, then stop by the store for Chicago souvenirs and what looked like a nice selection of books about the city. Also, one of their radio stations' studios are right on the street, visible behind glass. You can see various hosts doing their shows. Not the most interesting thing to watch, but good for a bit of entertainment.
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