The renovated limestone castle-like Chicago Water Tower is located at 806 North Michigan Avenue along the Magnificent Mile shopping district. It is housed in the a small park called the Jane M. Byrne Plaza. The cherished crenellated tower was one of the magnificent structures that survived the Chicago Fire of 1871. It was the only public building in the zone to survive. Many people never bother to go inside.
The tower was constructed to house a large water pump in 1869, intended to draw water from Lake Michigan. It now serves as a Chicago Office of Tourism art gallery. The Chicago Water Tower is the second-oldest water tower in the United States, after the Louisville Water Tower in Louisville, Kentucky.
The pumping station is still operational and it is filled with gigantic water pipes. Some of the structure serves as one of the Chicago Office of Tourism’s Official Visitor’s Centers.
The Water Tower is an art gallery called The City Gallery at the Historic Water Tower. The exhibition space is dedicated to the work of Chicago artists and photographers. Stop in and enjoy the on-going exhibits.
Here’s a video of some of the Chicago Highlights around the Water Tower http://youtu.be/wlfh4jezIh0
The neo-gothic Water Tower and the Pumping Station across the street on Michigan Avenue were completed in 1869 and designed by architect William W. Boyington. He was one of Chicago’s most prolific architects of the mid-nineteeth century.
The Water Tower is 154 feet tall. It was created for Chicago’s municipal water system and originally housed a 138 foot iron standpipe used to regulate water pressure.