Chicago Tribune Tower
Location: Chicago, Illinois (address: 435-445 N. Michigan Ave.)
When to visit: Anytime, but daylight hours make for better photos
Time needed: 10-15 minutes
Who knew that you can see the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China, the Alamo, the Great Pyramid of Egypt, and dozens of other international landmarks without leaving Chicago?
The Windy City has so many interesting architectural structures that it’s easy to overlook the Tribune Tower. In fact, you can walk right past it without realizing what an incredible building it is.
What is the Tribune Tower?
A neo-Gothic building on N. Michigan Ave. in the city’s Magnificent Mile area, the Tribune Tower has one peculiar quirk that makes it perhaps the most amazing building in Chicago.
Crammed into its walls are bricks and pieces of stone from the most famous structures around the world!
All of those historic places mentioned above, like the Great Wall of China, have pieces embedded in the stone, and you can touch them as you walk past the old building, built in 1925.
The rock collection also includes pieces from the Moon (!), Abraham Lincoln’s tomb, the Berlin Wall, the Colosseum in Rome, the original World Trade Center in NYC, and even petrified wood from Redwood National Park.
How often do you get a chance to touch a piece of the Great Wall of China?! Or ancient Cambodian temples? Or England’s House of Parliament? Or a piece of rock from Antarctica?
Those with an appreciation for history and the man-made wonders of the world will want to make sure to stop by the Tribune Tower while visiting Chicago.
Complete List of Stones Embedded in the Tribune Tower
At last count, there are 149 Tribune Tower stones embedded! It feels like pretty much every major world attraction is represented here.
Here’s the presumed full list of stones, as of this writing. This list contains about 145 stones, so we may be missing a couple. Feel free to send over we are missing!
List of stones in the Tribune Tower:
Aachen City Hall – Aachen – Germany
The Alamo – San Antonio – Texas
Ancient temple – Honan Province – China
Andersonville Prison – Andersonville – Georgia
Another Saint Peters Cathedral – Vatican City
Another temple in the Forbidden City – Beijing – China
Anzio Beach – Anzio – Italy
Arc de Triumphe – Paris – France
Aztec Ruins – New Mexico
Battle of Lake Erie – Put-in-Bay – Ohio
Badlands National Park – South Dakota
Battle of New Orleans – New Orleans – Louisiana
Beaumarais Castle – Isle of Anglesey – Wales
Berlin Wall – Berlin – Germany
Bloody Nose Ridge – Peleliu – The Caroline Islands
Boston Avenue Church – Tulsa – Oklahoma
Bridge in the Forbidden City – Beijing – China
Bunker Hill – Charlestown – Massachusetts
Butter Tower – Notre Dame Cathedral – Rouen – France
Cannonball – Pevensy Castle – England
Cave of the Nativity – Bethlehem
Chimney Point – Vermont
Chimney Rock – Nebraska
Christ Church – Philadelphia – Pennsylvania
City Hall – Potsdam – Germany
City Hall – Stockholm – Sweden
Clementine Hall – Vatican City
Cologne Cathedral – Cologne – Germany
Colosseum – Rome – Italy
Corregidor – Philippines
Craters of the Moon National Monument – Idaho
Cumberland Gap – Tennessee
Davids Tower – Jerusalem – Israel
DeSoto Landing – Desha County – Arkansas
Douglas Hall – Old University of Chicago – Chicago
Edinburgh Castle – Edinburgh – Scotland
Flodden Field – Scotch-English Battle of 1513 – Northumberland – England
Fort Brady – Sault Sainte Marie – Michigan
Fort Clatsop – Astoria – Oregon
Fort Marion – Saint Augustine – Florida
Fort McHenry – Baltimore – Maryland
Fort San Antonio Abad – Manila – Philippines
Fort Santiago – Manila – Philippines
Fort Sumter – Charleston – South Carolina
Fort Ticonderoga – New York
Fort William and Mary – Portsmouth – New Hampshire
Fortress Ehrenbreitstein – Rhineland – Germany
Fortress Walls – Cartagena – Colombia
Fur trading post – Prairie du Chien – Wisconsin
Gaspee Point – Rhode Island
Gate – Suwon – South Korea
Golden Castle – Osaka – Japan
Great Pyramid – Giza – Egypt
Great Wall of China
Hamlets Castle – Elsinore – Denmark
Hans Christian Andersen Home – Odense – Denmark
House of Commons – London – England
Independence Hall – Philadelphia – Pennsylvania
Injun Joe Cave – Hannibal – Missouri
International Peace Garden – Dunseith – North Dakota
John Browns Cabin – Osawatomie – Kansas
John Browns Fort – Harpers Ferry – West Virginia
Kwajalein – The Marshall Islands
Lincoln House – Springfield
Little Bighorn Battlefield – Garryowen – Montana
Lovejoy Home – Albion – Marine
Mammoth Cave – Kentucky
Marquette and Joliet Landing – Louisa County – Iowa
Massachusetts Hall – Cambridge – Massachusetts
McCormick House – Chicago
Medieval portal – Aachen – Germany
Mesa Verde Cliff Dwellings – Colorado
Miraflores Locks – Panama Canal – Panama
Monastery of Saint Michael – Kiev – Ukraine
Mont Sec Memorial – Saint Mihiel – France
Moon rock – The Moon
Mormon Temple – Salt Lake City – Utah
Mosaic Hall – Reichschancellery – Berlin – Germany
Mount Denali (formerly McKinley) – Denali National Park – Alaska
Mount Pentelicus Quarry – Attica – Greece
Mount Rainier – Washington
Mountain Taptochau – Saipan – The Marianas Islands
Nelson House – Yorktown – Virginia
Notre Dame Cathedral – Paris – France
Old General Post Office – Dublin – Ireland
Old Swedes Church – Wilmington – Delaware
Omaha Beach- Normandy – France
Orote Peninsla – Guam
Parliament – London – England
Parthenon – Athens – Greece
Pearl Harbor – Honolulu – Hawaii
Petra – Jordan
Petrified Forest National Park – Arizona
Pilgrim House – Leyden – The Netherlands
Princeton University – New Jersey
Powder Tower – Riga – Latvia
Redwood National Park petrified wood – California
Reims Cathedral – Reims – France
Remagen Bridge – Remagen – Germany
Reno Courthouse – Nevada
Revolutionary War battlefield – Princeton – New Jersey
Roanoke Island – North Carolina
Roman Ruins – Leptis Magna – Libya
Roof tile – Roman Ruins – Birecik – Turkey
Royal castle – Stockholm – Sweden
Saint Johns Church – Richmond – Virginia
Saint Lo City Hall – Saint Lo – France
Saint Peters Holy Door – Rome
Saint Sophia – Istanbul – Turkey
Saint Stephens Cathedral – Vienna – Austria
Santa Lucia Barracks – Manila – Philippines
Santa Maria Island – The Azores
Santo Domingo Church – Panama City – Panama
Semaire de Quebec – Quebec City – Canada
Shirley House – Vicksburg – Mississippi
Shrine – Tokyo – Japan
Sibyls Cave – Naples – Italy
Site of the Kensington Rune Stone – Kensington – Minnesota
Stabian Baths – Pompeii – Italy
Suleiman Mosque – Istanbul – Turkey
Swedish Viking Monument – Malar Lake Valley – Sweden
Sydney Opera House – Sydney – Australia
Ta Prohm Angkor and Banteay Srei Hindu Temple – Cambodia
Taintzkaya Tower – The Kremlin – Moscow – Russia
Taj Mahal – Agra – India
Tawasa Indian town – Alabama
Temple in the Forbidden City – Beijing – China
Tomb of Abraham Lincoln – Springfield – Illinois
Tower of Tears – Amsterdam – The Netherlands
Trondheim Cathedral – Trondheim – Norway
Union Stockyards – Chicago
Walls of Londonderry – Northern Ireland
Wartburg – Eisenach – Germany
Washingtons Landing – New Jersey
Wawel Castle – Krakow – Poland
Westminster Abbey – London – England
WGN Building cornerstone – Chicago
White House – Washington DC
William Henry Harrison Mansion – Vincennes – Indiana
Winter Palace – Beijing – China
World Trade Center – New York City
World’s Columbian Exposition – Chicago
Yale University – New Haven – Connecticut
Yellowstone National Park – Wyoming
FAQs About the Chicago Tribune Tower
Is there a Tribune Tower guided tour?
No, there is not a tour of the inside of the Chicago Tribune Tower. However, if this type of old skyscraper interests you, consider GetYourGuide’s Chicago Architecture Art Deco Tour, a walking tour of five other historic skyscrapers in the area near the Chicago River.
Can you live in the Tribune Tower?
Yes, a few years back, Tribune Tower Residences began selling one- to four-bedroom residences in the tower buildings.
These are luxury, high-end apartments. Unless your name is Oprah, you probably won’t have much of a chance to purchase one!
Is there a restaurant in the Tribune Tower?
There used to be a restaurant on the ground floor called Howells & Hood, but it closed during the redevelopment of the property that included the new apartments.
There are loads of eateries in the immediate vicinity, however, including well-known spots like Billy Goat Tavern, The Purple Pig, and Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse.
Does the Chicago Tribune newspaper still have its offices in the building?
Oddly enough, no. In 2018, the venerable but struggling paper moved over to Prudential Plaza.
Is it safe in this neighborhood?
Yes, the tower is located in the River North area of Chicago. Crime does occur there, as it does in every part of a big city like Chicago. But River North is an area popular with tourists and a lot of locals work there too.
During the day it’s totally fine. At night, the area is not unsafe, but use common sense as you would in any major city.
What else should tourists do in Chicago?
See our list of things to do at night in Chicago, and our list of winter activities in Chicago. Other quirky attractions include the International Surgical Science Museum, the Green Mill jazz club, and the Garfield Park Conservatory.
What’s your favorite historic building piece in the Chicago Tribune Tower?