Site of the Kensington Runestone.
Rock from the "Site of the Kensington Runestone."

Famous Rocks of the Tribune Tower

Field review by the editors.

Chicago, Illinois

The Tribune Tower -- long the home of The Chicago Tribune newspaper -- was built in the 1920s partly as a display of power by then-publisher "Colonel" Robert McCormick. Beyond even the building's purely "Look at me!" flying buttresses and spires, its base is ringed with embedded rocks taken from other famous buildings and places, all carefully identified with labels chiseled into the facade.

There's a chunk of the Alamo, the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China; the Parthenon, the White House, the Colosseum in Rome; Westminster Abbey, the Arc de Triumph, and the Cathedral of Notre Dame.

Lincoln's original tomb.
A piece of Lincoln's original tomb.

If this was a government edifice, the assemblage chiseled and taken from other peoples' lands might be condemned as a deplorable excess of Empire. But it houses, at least for a little while longer, journalists, the Fourth Estate, practicing freedom of the press. So the rock display is unsettling, but not as horrifying as, for example, a building made out of veal or union worker skeletons.

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Famous Rocks of the Tribune Tower

Tribune Tower

N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL
Tribune Tower. On the east side of N. Michigan Ave. just south of E. Illinois St.
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