Seeing History On The Side Of Chicago’s Iconic Tribune Building!

Welcome To Chicago!

This is my wife Alex taking in the majesty of the Chicago River – we were there for a quick trip recently and I was reminded of one of the city’s unique architectural delights!

Behold The Tribune Tower!

The Chicago River cuts downtown Chicago in half, and directly north of the river – on the city’s iconic “Magnificent Mile”, is a 463-foot-tall, 36-floor “Neo-gothic” skyscraper, the original hom to the Chicago Tribune newspaper. Built between 1923 and 1925, the owners made it part of a huge international design competition!

The original Tribune Tower was built in 1868, but was destroyed, along with most of the city, by the great fire of 1871 – which destroyed over 17,000 structures…

OK, it’s a cool building, right?

So why am I sharing this? Well, look at the outer walls of the structure:

Prior to the building of the Tribune Tower, correspondents for the newspaper brought back rocks and bricks from a variety of historically important sites from around the world – and the unique fragments were incorporated into the lowest levels of the building – where you can see them all!

The World’s History Is Here…

There are 149 fragments incorporated into the building, everything form pop culture to some of the most historic moments in world history:

This is an incredible journey though American history:

The building is not only adorned with mementos from around the world – but many take you back in time as well:

This one is, of course, a bit more political, as many now feel that Columbus exploited the areas he visited…and there is also one very painful tragedy for the US that has been captured here as well:

There is, however on thing that you won’t see: In 1999, during a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon, Astronaut Buzz Aldrin presented a rock from the Moon’s surface, and it was displayed for a period of time inside the building – but NASA doesn’t let these rocks out of their sight so it was only there a short time!

The Chicago Tribune newspaper moved out in June 2018, and the building has been converted to condos and offices.

Just across Michigan Avenue sits another beautiful example of Chicago architecture….this is the beginning of the “Magnificent Mile”, that runs north from the Chicago River.

And just south, here is what you can see:

Welcome To Chicago’s Rvierwalk!

This Chicago River runs west from Lake Michigan, and you can walk down it for more than a mile – an incredible journey thought the city’s Architectural wonder, like the iconic “Corn Cobs”:

Yes, people live in them and the bottom levels are for valet parking…well, most of the time:

Yes, only once in history, a film included a scene with a car flying off the building – they did it for Steve McQueen of course!

See his last film “The Hunter” by clicking here:

I shared a tour of the Chicago River before the pandemic – I have walked this countless times:

I shared a story when it was closed – but it’s open again and better than ever! Click here to see a walking tour:

Chicago has so many incredible things to see – like the waves crashing against Lake Michigan:

Oh, and did you know you can see the most notorious man-eating Lions in history?

Click here to see the Tsavo Killers!

These are just some of the great things about this city – here are a few more:

Yes, deep dish!

Here are six shots that tell the story of the Windy City:

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Categories: Art, chicago, Exotic Travel, Memoirs, Pop Culture, Real Estate, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

24 replies

  1. HI John, what an amazing building. I would really love to see those inserts into the façade. Chicago looks like a great place to visit.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One of my favorite cities. My parents grew up in the Chicago suburbs, so I’ve spent a lot of time there. I still have a bat from Bat Day when I went to my first professional baseball game at iconic Wrigley Field.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. for the first time in my life, on my most recent visit to Chicago, I finally noticed what the details were on the tribune tower and they were mind-blowing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great building. I love architecture. One grad class I spent on a walking tour for a weekend. Chicago is my kinda town.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful tribute to a fine building and city.


  6. I absolutely love the Tribune Tower and all the embedded artifacts. Talk about history! And the tower itself is a gorgeous piece of architecture. Super post, John!


  7. I love all those bits of history embedded in the building. Amazing. I have never been to Chicago but it fascinates me. Love the tour. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Such a wonderful idea to embed those historical fragments in the wall of the building. Thanks for the tour, John.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Looks like a fantastic trip and PIZZA! I grew up nearby in Madison, Wisconsin, and did not know about the embedded rocks in the Magnificent Mile. Great post, John!

    How did you incorporate your blog posts like that/? It’s another embedded mystery!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great idea, that wall of memorabilia! thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person


  1. I Witness A Wild Chicago Crane Repair – Here’s Video 30 Stories High! – johnrieber

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