Chicago Tribune Tower

Chicago Tribune Tower
  1. About the Chicago Tribune Tower in Chicago
    1. Building Catalogations
  2. Architect and team
  3. Architectureal style
  4. Spaces and uses
  5. Structure and materials

The Chicago Tribune Tower is a Neogothic skyscraper designed by Howells & Hood and built between 1923 and 1925 in Chicago, IL. Howells & Hood was commisioned to design the building after winning the competition that was held in 1922.

Its precise street address is 435 N Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL. You can also find it on the map here.

The Chicago Tribune Tower is a structure of significant importance both for the city of Chicago and the United States as a nation. The building embodies the distinctive characteristic features of the time in which it was built and the Neogothic style. Because of that, the Chicago Tribune Tower was officially declared as a national landmark on January 2nd 1989.

The building has been restored 3 times over the years to ensure its conservation and adaptation to the pass of time. The main restoration works happened in 1948, 1965 and 1990.

Building's timeline

Competition year
Construction begins
Construction completed
Declared NL
years ago

Architect and team

Howells & Hood was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design.

Howells & Hood was a prominent American architectural firm founded by John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood. The partnership between these two architects left a lasting legacy in the world of skyscraper design during the early 20th century.

Unlike other firms at the time, which would limit their area of influence to a single city or state, Howells & Hood’s buildings can be found in multiple locations, from New York to Chicago.

They are particularly known for their innovative approach to skyscraper design, and their role in this typology progressing from the neogothic and neoclassical to the more modern art-deco style.

Howells Hood

Howells & Hood was in charge of the architectural design, however, architecture is a complex discipline, which usually involves many professionals from different fields, without whom this building would have not been possible. We will surely be leaving out a lot of names here, but at the very least we know that there was one other part involved, that was Robert R. McCormick as the Main Developer.

Architectural Style

The Chicago Tribune Tower can be categorized as a Neogothic building.

The Neo-Gothic style, also known as Gothic Revival, emerged in the United States during the late 19th century, taking inspiration from the Gothic architecture found in Europe from centuries prior.

The Gothic Revival movement took elements characteristic of the Gothic buildings, such as pointed architect, ribbed vaults and flying buttresses, and applied them to newer buildings, even those belonging to typologies that did not exist during the original Gothic period, such as skyscrapers.

Neg-Gothic buildings usually feature pinnacles, gargoyles and other decorative elements that emphasize the verticality of the structure, and include stonework that features the craftsmanship of skilled artisans of the time.

The Chicago Tribune Tower was completed in 1925. These were the late days of the Neogothic movement, which had been around for almost 200 years at the time.

Art-deco would soon take over US architecture, and therefore, even though Howells & Hood didn't venture into what was cutting edge in terms of style at the time, and took instead a more conservative approach to the design of the Chicago Tribune Tower, it is possible that the design already started showing some traits that would later become characteristic of the art-deco movement.

Spaces & Uses

The Chicago Tribune Tower reaches an architectural height of 463ft (141m), 495ft (151m) if you count the antenna, with the last accesible floor being 427ft (130m) off the gorund. It has a total of 36 floors.

When it opened its doors to the public in 1925, the Chicago Tribune Tower was primarily used as Commercial space. That however, is no longer the case, and today it mainly provides Residential space.

About the residences

The Chicago Tribune Tower has a total of 162 residential units throughout its 36 floors.

495ft (151m)
463ft (141m)
427ft (130m)

Materials & Structure

The Chicago Tribune Tower uses a frame structure made of steel columns and concrete slabs.

A frame structure uses a combination of beams and columns to sustain the building's weight. The walls in this case are non-load bearing, which allows for more flexibility when distributing the interior spaces.

From an aesthetic point of view, the facade features a very light colored, almost whiteish limestone.

Other materials found at the Chicago Tribune Tower include, cream colored travertine marble, found in the lobby, oak, seen on decorative beams attached to the cealing of some spaces throughout the building, carved stone figures, found on the facade's upper floors, and bronce, which many of the oricinal chandeliers were made of.