The Chicago Water Tower is a notable landmark located in the city of Chicago, Illinois. Specifically, this protected landmark is located at 806 North Michigan Avenue, just along the Magnificent Mile shopping district in the Near North Side community area of Chicago. It is considered as a contributing property in the Old Chicago Water Tower District landmark district.
Chicago Water Tower History
This historic water tower dates way back in 1869 the year it was built. It was built as part of a pumping system to provide the city with clean water sourced from Lake Michigan. Previously water was sourced out from the nearby Chicago River which was polluted with the city’s industrial sewage. It was designed by architect William W. Burlington. The Chicago Water Tower was one of the few structures that survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. It was threatened with demolition several times through the years but has since been protected by being considered as one of the city’s historical landmarks. The water tower completed its restoration in 1962.
Chicago Water Tower Features
Constructed in 1869, the Chicago Water Tower is made up of yellowing Joliet limestone blocks. It follows a Neo-Gothic architectural style and stands 154 feet or 47 meters tall. There are also several small Neo-Gothic towers surrounding the main tower which housed a standpipe that is138 feet or 42 meters tall. The small towers gave it a resemblance to a tiny European ancient medieval castle that effectively hid its function as a water tower. The Chicago Water Tower offers a striking contrast to the modern architecture that now surrounds the city and has become one of its important historical attractions.