Thursday, May 2, 2013

Building Fragments in Chicago’s Tribune Tower

After reading my post about Souvenir Architecture Fragments, reader Chris B. informed me of stone fragments at Chicago’s Tribune Tower. Almost 150 fragments from famous structures and historic sites around the world and all 50 U.S. states are embedded in Tribune Tower's first story exterior walls. They include chunks of the Great Wall of China, the Great Pyramid of Cheops, the Berlin Wall, the White House, the Coliseum, and even a moon rock. Along the south wall you'll find the most recent addition to the tower; a steel beam fragment from the World Trade Center destroyed in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. The tradition began in 1914 when Col. Robert R. McCormick, the Chicago Tribune's longtime editor and publisher, was covering WWI. Touring a medieval cathedral in Ypres, France that had been damaged by German shelling, he grabbed a piece of stone. Many of the pieces were gifts to Col. McCormick and some were brought back to Chicago by foreign correspondents. These pieces of history reflect the aspirations of the Tribune Tower's creators: To make the fledging skyscraper one of the world's greatest monuments. Ultimately the stones provide a popular, vicarious 'round-the-world' tour that helps represent the Tribune's global reach.

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