World Artifacts on the Tribune Tower Walls – Chicago, Illinois - Atlas Obscura

Embedded into the base of the Tribune Tower, on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, are close to 150 fragments of famous world architecture. These fragments include pieces from some of the world’s greatest architectural wonders, including the Hagia Sophia, the White House, the Houses of Parliament, St. Peter’s Basilica, Pompeii, the Forbidden City, and the Notre Dame Cathedral.

Each fragment is labeled with its place of origin and the building it was retrieved from. These artifacts were collected by correspondents of the Chicago Tribune in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. When the building was being constructed in the 1920s, many of these stone fragments were incorporated into the lower levels of the exterior of the tower.

Since then, some new additions have been added over the years, most recently a piece of twisted metal from the World Trade Center after its destruction in 2001. To the left of the entrance of the tower, in the window display, you will see a moon rock from the Apollo 15 mission, which was put on display to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the moon landing in 1969. It is on loan from NASA.

Update May 2019: The Chicago Tribune moved out of the tower and the building is under going major work while it is being converted to condos. As of 2019, there are construction walls completely blocking the building and it is not known if the fragments will remain.

Update as of  July 2022: The construction walls are down and the fragments are still intact.

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