Tribune Tower in Chicago

The Tribune Tower is a 463-foot-tall, 36-floor neo-Gothic skyscraper located in downtown Chicago.

About the Tribune Tower

While the historic building has served as the home of many businesses throughout the years, it was built to operate as the new headquarters for the Chicago Tribune. Other businesses have included Tribune Media, and Tribune Publishing. WGN Radio also broadcasted from the building until moving in 2018. The ground level formerly housed the restaurant Howells & Hood. CNN’s Chicago bureau was also located in the building. 

In 2018, the Chicago Tribune moved out so the building could be converted into luxury condos. At this time, the tower isn’t open to the public. Construction has also begun for Tribune Tower East in the former parking lot for the Tribune Tower. The luxury mixed-use development will be one of the tallest buildings in the city, and the project includes apartments, convos, a five-star hotel, and accompanying amenities. 

While it no longer hosts the famous publication, the tower stands as a monument to Chicago’s world-class architecture. 

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The Tribune Tower is located at 435 N. Michigan Avenue in the Michigan-Wacker Historic District, which is in the Streeterville neighborhood.

History of the Tribune Tower 

The original Tribune Tower was built in 1868, but it was destroyed by the Great Fire in 1871. In 1922, the Chicago Tribune hosted an international architecture competition for its new headquarters to celebrate its 75th anniversary. The publication offered $100K in prize money with a $50K first prize for the most beautiful and distinctive office building in the world.” The competition presented a shift in American architecture, with some of the 260 entries influencing future famous skyscrapers and the progress of international architectural designs. If you’re curious, you can see the competition’s incredible entries at the Art Institute of Chicago.

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Ultimately, New York architects John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood designed the winner: a neo-Gothic skyscraper with ornate flying buttresses, which was completed in 1925. American artist Rene Paul Chambellan designed the building’s elaborate sculptures and decorations, including images of Robin Hood for Hood, a howling dog for Howells, gargoyles, a frog, and the Aesops’ Screen over the building’s main entrance doors.The top of the tower is an ode to the Tour de beurre of the Late-Gothic style Rouen Cathedral in France.

Inside of the building, the lower office block is constructed from Indiana limestone and presents Art Deco-style vertical piers and horizontal spandrels. Visitors can also see engravings of quotes from Benjamin Franklin, Voltaire, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison that praise freedom of the press. 

Fun Fact: Robert R. McCormick, who operated as the editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune at the time, requested fragments of historically important sites to be embedded into the Tribune Tower during its construction. Visitors can see many of the 149 fragments, which are identified with labels, on the lowest levels of the building. 

Fragments embedded in the wall were taken from sites such as the:

  • Hagia Sophia 
  • St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna
  • Palace of Westminster
  • Notre Dame de Paris
  • Great Pyramid of Giza
  • Great Wall of China
  • The Parthenon
  • The Alamo
  • Wawel Castle
  • The Forbidden City
  • Bunker Hill
  • Fort Santiago
  • Angkor Wat
  • Abraham Lincoln’s Tomb
  • Taj Mahal
  • Berlin Wall
  • Independence Hall
  • World Trade Center
  • & More!

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Buzz Aldrin brought a rock from the Moon to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, but it has since been removed from the Tribune gift store window display where it was showcased. 

Best Restaurants & Bars Near the Tribune Tower

Each of these local restaurants have a rating of four stars and up:

Parking Near the Tribune Tower

Parking Garages 

  • Cityfront Garage at 235 E. Grand Ave
  • River East Garage at 316 E. Illinois St
  • The Langham Chicago at 330 N. Wabash Ave
  • 450 North Cityfront Plaza 

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Parking Lots

  • 935 N Michigan Ave 
  • 166 E. Grand Ave
  • Park One at 533537 St Clair St
  • Interpark at 430 N Rush St

Public Transportation to the Tribune Tower 

Bus Stops 

  • Michigan & Hubbard 
  • Illinois (Lower) & Michigan (East)
  • Wacker (Upper) & Michigan (East)
  • Wacker (Upper) & Stetson (West)

Chicago 'L' stations

  • Grand-Red
  • State/Lake

Train Station

Millenium Station

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Hotels Near the Tribune Tower

Each of these nearby Chicago hotels have a guest rating of 4 stars and over:

Hottest Nearby Attractions

Magnificent Mile

The Magnificent Mile boasts incredible shopping, dining, accommodations, and entertainment choices that fit any budget. Whether you're searching for affordable fashion or designer boutiques, you can find it all strolling down North Michigan Avenue. This scenic district enables visitors to see attractions such as the Chicago Sports Museum, the Historic Water Tower, art galleries, theaters, bars, gourmet food, and beyond! At the end of the day, stroll along the Chicago River and grab a bite at any of the dozens of eateries nearby. Also, you can find more than 70 hotels in or near the district.

the Magnificent mile buildings from ground with taxis and pedestrians in Chicago, Illinois, USANavy Pier

Don’t skip out on the Navy Pier! With so many attractions such as the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the iconic Centennial Wheel, theme park rides, and the Chicago Children’s Museum, guests of all ages will love this entertainment center. You can also capture views of the river as well, the city skyline, play a round of mini-golf, catch a movie in the Navy Pier IMAX at the AMC, and much more. Look out for concerts, free events, and seasonal events as well!

Grant Park

Referred to as "Chicago's Front Yard", Grant Park showcases 312.98 acres within the city's central business district in the Loop Community area. This public park features Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, Maggie Daley Park, the Museum Campus, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Eat your lunch by the Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain, built in 1927, to enjoy lovely views and passersby. Further, guests can enjoy magnificent gardens, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, and more. Also home to huge food and music festivals like The Taste of Chicago, The Grant Park Music Festival, and Lollapalooza, there is always something going on throughout the year.

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Written By Talena


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