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Tribune Tower 435 North Michigan Avenue Chicago
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© Christine Till
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, an impressive neo-Gothic limestone beauty at 435 North Michigan Avenue, home of the Tribune Company, and CNN's Chicago Bureau, is impossible to miss. The Tribune Company is one of Chicago's biggest and most famous. They own the Chicago Tribune newspaper, television and radio stations (WGN Radio), and the Chicago Cubs, among other things. One of their radio stations' studios are right on the street, visible behind glass.
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. Construction began in 1922 and was completed in 1925. It reached a height of 462 feet (141 meter).
Tribune 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 contains two amusing picture puns of the architects' names in the form of a howling dog (John Howell) and Robin Hood (Raymond Hood).
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, the Parthenon, Notre Dame, the Colosseum, the World Trade Center, Abraham Lincoln's tomb, Westminster Abbey, the Berlin Wall, the Taj Mahal, the pyramids, the Alamo, the White House, the Kremlin, Mark Twain's 'Injun Joe' Cave, and many more.
Tribune Tower's 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?
February 3rd, 2013
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