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Tribune Tower

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Tribune Tower


Structure in General

existing [under renovation]
caisson foundation
applied masonry


residential condominium


  • Raymond Hood and John M. Howells' design won first place out of 263 entries in a much publicized international design competition.
  • Several of the entries in the Tribune Tower design competition had a visible influence on future skyscrapers.
  • The 2nd and 3rd-place winners in the tower's design competition were Eliel Saarinen and Holabird & Roche.
  • The walls hold a collection of stones from famous monuments and sites around the world (and the moon), including the Arc de Triomphe, Parthenon, Berlin Wall, Alamo, Great Wall of China, Forbidden City, White House, Taj Mahal, Great Pyramid of Cheops, Petrified Forest, Badlands, St. Peter's, Notre-Dame, Hagia Sophia, Antarctica, Omaha Beach, and Mammoth Cave.
  • The upper tower is encircled by eight flying buttresses, with sculptures of bats carved into them.
  • The design is modeled after the Butter Tower at Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen.
  • The lobby walls are inscribed with quotations of famous persons, representing the newspaper's ideals. The centerpiece is a relief map of North America made of shredded dollar notes and plaster.
  • A stone screen over the doorway is filled with images from Aesop's Fables, as a reminder of their lessons. The architects Hood & Howells are represented on the screen by Robin Hood and a "howelling" dog.
  • The offices in the top of the tower were once linked by secret passageways.
  • The 25th floor terrace was a public observation deck until the 1950s, when a higher observatory in One Prudential Plaza took away much of its business.
  • The tower's site was chosen for its proximity to the old printing plant, which was built in 1916 and still stands on the east side of the tower.
  • Live radio broadcasts from the WGN studio (the call letters stand for "World's Greatest Newspaper") are visible through a show window at the southwest corner of the tower's ground floor.
  • A low-rise addition to the north was built in 1935, forming a small courtyard with a statue of Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale.
  • When the building opened the Chicago Tribune relocated here from its previous offices in the First Federal Building.
  • In 1982, printing of the Chicago Tribune was shifted from this building to the Freedom Center on the North Branch of the Chicago River.

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More Information


435 North Michigan Avenue
131 East Illinois Street
435 North Michigan Avenue
Tribune Tower
Near North Side

Technical Data

463.01 ft
463.01 ft
463.01 ft

Involved Companies

Hood & Howells

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Features & Amenities

  • One of the city's famous buildings
  • City landmark
  • Design is winner of a competition
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