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The Chicago Water Tower is a contributing property in the Old Chicago Water Tower Districtmarker landmark district. It is located at 806 North Michigan Avenuemarker along the Magnificent Mile shopping district in the Near North Sidemarker community area of Chicagomarker, Illinoismarker. Located adjacent to Loyola University Chicagomarker's downtown campus, the Water Tower serves as one of the Chicago Office of Tourism's Official Visitor's Centers. The Chicago Water Tower is the second-oldest water tower in the United States, after the Louisville Water Towermarker in Louisville, Kentuckymarker.

The tower, built in 1869 by architect William W. Boyington from yellowing Lemontmarker limestone, is 154 feet (47 m) tall. Inside was a 138 foot (42 m) high standpipe to hold water. In addition to being used for firefighting, the pressure in the pipe could be regulated to control water surges in the area.

The tower gained prominence after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. While some incorrectly believe that the tower was the only building to survive the fire, a few other buildings in the burned district survived along with the tower. But the water tower was the only public building in the burned zone to survive, and is the only one of the surviving structures still standing. In the years since the fire, the tower has become a symbol of old Chicago and of the city's recovery from the fire.

The structure has not been universally admired. Oscar Wilde said it looked like "a castellated monstrosity with pepper boxes stuck all over it."

In 1918, when Pine Streetmarker was widened, the plans were altered in order to give the Water Tower a featured location. The Water Tower's castle-like style inspired the design of many White Castle restaurant buildings. The Tower was named an American Water Landmark in 1969. In 2004, the tower was featured in the finale of The Amazing Race 6.Image:Chicago-20080523.jpg|The top of the tower seen from the Park TowerImage:Chicago Water Tower from Hancock.JPG|Aerial view of the Water Tower from the nearby John Hancock CentermarkerImage:20070513 Water Tower Water Landmark Plaque.JPG|Water Landmark PlaqueImage:Water Tower and Water Tower Place.jpg|Chicago Water Tower and Water Tower PlaceImage:Water Tower - Chicago Nov 2004.jpg|View from across Michigan AvenuemarkerImage:Chicago_Water_Tower.JPG|Water Tower at NightFile:20070513 Magnificent Mile.JPG|Water Tower on Magnificent Mile

History

The Water Tower is one of the surviving arcitectures from the chicago fire.Was a shipping point for farm goods heading to eastern cities.

Notes

  1. Gerald Wolfe. Chicago In and Around the Loop. McGraw-Hill, 1996. pp.233-236
  2. A.T. Andreas (1885), History of Chicago, Vol. 2, pp. 752 (picture of E.B. McCagg's Greenhouse), 759 (discussing survival of the Lind Block and 2 houses), Chicago: A.T. Andreas Co.
  3. Siegel, Arthur. Chicago's Famous Buildings. University of Chicago Press, 1969. pp. 48.; Oscar Wilde. February 13, 1882


See also




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