Quirky Attraction: Tribune Tower in Chicago

tribune tower chicago

Tribune Tower
Location: Chicago, Illinois (address: 435-445 N. Michigan Ave.)
When to visit: Anytime, but daylight hours make for better photos
Cost: Free
Time needed to enjoy: 10-15 minutes
Website: Tribune Tower (unofficial)

Who knew that you can see the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China, the Alamo, the Great Pyramid, 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.

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.

tribune tower great pyramid

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, Independence Hall in Philadelphia, and even petrified wood from Redwood National Park.

tribune tower english parliament

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.

tribune tower cambodian temples

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About the Author

Scott Shetler is a Seattle-based journalist and blogger who seeks out offbeat attractions and awesome destinations around the world. He has been featured in Travel + Leisure, Connect Magazine, Matador Travel, and the Washington Post.

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14 Comments

  1. Yeah that is cool! Although not as cool as seeing the real thing. Didn’t know all of that was in Chicago. Wonder how they got all of those pieces, especially part of the Pyramid. Was there last May and loved seeing the Pyramids of Giza.. absolutely amazing.

    1. Good question about how they got all the rocks… it would be weird to approach all these places and say, Hey, can you give us a chunk of your hallowed landmark for this building?

    1. My wife and I looked up cruises to Antarctica the other day.. Was amazed at how expensive they are! The nicest cruises were around $18k, of course that’s with a suite. Maybe we’ll have to skip Antarctica and just take a short trip to Chicago 😉

      1. I know! I want to take a cruise there someday… but it will probably be way in the future, after I’ve won the lottery.

  2. Chicago has awesome architecture and so glad to see you bring attention to the Tribune Tower. It’s a real gem, especially with all the interesting pieces from other places.

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