Tribune Tower

Completed: 1924
Architects: Howells & Hood
Address: 435 N. Michigan Ave.

It takes gumption to open your skyscraper’s design to a competition. Of course, it helps if you seed the playing field by paying your favorite architects to participate, and it certainly doesn’t hurt if you’re the one judging the entries. Then it’s not just gumption; it’s a publicity bonanza.

The Chicago Tribune was no stranger to gumption, or to publicity. When the paper announced its $100,000 contest for a new skyscraper in 1922, publisher Robert R. McCormick had been printing “The World’s Greatest Newspaper” on the masthead for eleven years. The paper’s 75th anniversary and a need for more space provided a perfect opportunity for an international competition that would keep people talking for the next century. It would also keep the paper in one place for a while: since first rolling off the presses in 1847, The Chicago Tribune had lived in seven different buildings—eight if you include the temporary quarters after the 1871 fire. 

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Sources for Tribune Tower

This is a selection of specific sources used to provide details while researching this landmark. Additional sources, including books and websites, can be found on the Resources page.

  • Chicago Landmark Designation Report
  • “Debates Swirled About McCormick.” New York Times, 1 Apr 1955.
  • “Howells Tells of Ideal Sought in Tribune Tower.” Chicago Tribune, 04 Dec 1922.
  • “A Newspaper Congratulates Itself.” LIFE, 23 Jun 1947.
  • The Story of the Tribune Tower. Pamphlet, 1924.
  • Sullivan, Louis H. “The Chicago Tribune Competition.” The Architectural Record, Vol. LIII No. 293, Feb 1923.
  • Tribune Company. Glimpses of Tribune Tower: Presented As a Souvenir of Your Visit to the Home of the World’s Greatest Newspaper. Chicago: The Tribune Company, 1943.
  • “Tribune Tower: Fragments of history.” Chicago Tribune, 7 Jan 2013.