See Rocks From Around the World Embedded in the Chicago Tribune Tower

tribune tower chicago

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: 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.

chicago tribune tower stones - 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, 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.

chicago tribune tower cambodian temples - restaurant tour

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

Chicago tribune building stones

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

great wall chicago tribune

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

tribune tower - pearl harbor piece

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

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?

The Tribune Tower is one of the quirkiest Chicago tourist attractions. Be sure to try a deep dish pizza tour and the famous Chicago River architecture boat tour.

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.

Finally, see our guides to Chicago food, Chicago improv, and the best Chicago museums.

What’s your favorite historic building piece in the Chicago Tribune Tower?