The Historic Water Tower located in the center of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile is the city’s most familiar and treasured landmark, created in 1869. This striking venue showcases the work of local photographers and artists as well as serves as the city’s official photography gallery. Before it was this marvelous gallery, however, this was Chicago’s municipal water system, originally housing a 135 foot iron stand pipe used to regulate water pressure. This tower plus the adjacent water pumping station serve as one of the few buildings to survive the path of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, making this building an official icon of Chicago resilience, a mascot of strength of sorts.
William W Boyington was the great Chicago architect who created this once large and great tower made of big limestone blocks and featuring small neo gothic towers. It looks like a tiny European medieval castle with a water tower, though it is truly a dwarf among towers in the city. Standing at 154 feet, or 47 meters, this stone structure in a glass city contains a free Visitor’s Center and Live theater space, currently exhibiting a photography grouping called Athens and Oraibi. Restored in 1962 and made the first American water Landmark, this tower is now one of the most important historical attractions in Chicago, a treasured gallery for local photographers as well as a historical tribute to the city’s rebirth and raw strength. Your group will truly treasure this hidden Chicago city gem.