Tuesday, September 23, 2008
One of the most recognizable buildings in Chicago, the Old Water Tower presides over the north end of the Magnificent Mile and a lovely urban park. Constructed in 1869 of Joliet limestone, the Water Tower and the Pumping Station located directly across Michigan Avenue, were the only two public buildings to survive the Great Chicago Fire in 1871.
Originally constructed to conceal a standpipe used to equalize water pressure from the Pumping Station, it is currently the home for City Gallery which features Chicago photographers and photographs. Buskers and street entertainers perform in the park surrounding the Water Tower while shoppers revive weary feet seated on benches near a fountain. Carriage horses still drink from a specially designed watering fountain on the park's west side and wait patiently for couples and families to hop aboard for a city tour.