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A product of a competition in search for ?the most beautiful and distinctive office building in the world?, the Tribune Tower is one of the most famous skyscrapers in Chicago City which occupies a prime location a stone?s throw away from the Michigan Avenue Bridge. It was designed by architects Raymond Hood and John Howells who received $50,000 dollars for winning. The design competition drew more than 260 entries and the architects? triumph was highly contested. The second placer, a contemporary building designed by Eliel Saarinen of Finland, were preferred by most critics including the Chicago School since it is in line with the minimalist modern trend of that time, as opposed to the very detailed and ornate design of Hood. In fact, Hood will be inspired by Saarinen?s streamlined and functional European architecture when he would build the Rockefeller Center and the McGraw-Hill Building in New York in the subsequent years of his career.

The Tribune Tower was completed in 1925 and stood tall at 426 feet. Its proximity to the Chicago River and a central spot at the premier commercial strip of the Magnificent Mile added to its appeal. The neo-gothic design of the tower was patterned after the Rouen Cathedral?s Button Tower found in France. The most distinctive aesthetic element of the Tribune Tower is the ornamental buttresses which sit like a crown on its peak. These buttresses are clearly visible from the street especially during at night when they are lighted. At the entrance of the building a carved image of Robin Hood can be found in honor of Raymond Hood and a carved image of howling dogs to pay tribute to John Howells.

Another interesting design element that makes Tribune Tower unique are fragments of stones, bricks, rocks and steel from different popular structures around the world which are incorporated in the building?s wall like a mosaic. These include stones from the Taj Mahal in Indian, the Great Wall of China, The Parthenon in Greece, The Alamo in Notre Dame, The Coliseum in Italy, the Berlin Wall in Germany and the Angkor Wat in Cambodia and the World Trade Center in New York. The most popular piece here is a moon rock kept behind a window of the Tribune gift store and cannot be incorporated in the building?s wall since it is only on loan from NASA.

Today, the Tribune Tower hosts many media offices including the Chicago Tribune, WGN Radio and CNN Chicago Bureau. It is an officially designated Chicago landmark.
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