One of the buildings comprising the Old Chicago Water Tower District is the Chicago Water Tower. It is one of the most well-known historic sites in Chicago. It is located at 806 North Michigan Avenue in the Jane Bryne Plaza. It was built in 1869. Its style is gothic revival. Its external walls are made of yellow limestone from Lemont. Likely this stone was shipped to Chicago along the Illinois Michigan Canal.
The architect was William Boyington. He was a prolific architect being responsible for many projects. Some of these include the first LaSalle Street Station, new State Capital Bulding in Springfield, the entrance to Rosehill Cemetary,the Hegler Carus Mansion in LaSalle and the Joliet Prison.
The tower is 182 feet high. Inside was a 138 feet high stand pipe. This was to hold water mainly for fire fighting. The pipe was removed in 1911. The building was remarkable for surviving destruction during the Chicago Fire.
The foundation consists of 168 piles filled with concrete and covered with 12 inch oak timbers. Massive stones laid in cement make up the base.. Each of the 40 feet wide sides has a stately doorway and two grand windows.
During the 1900’s, the building underwent 2 rennovations. In 1913 to 1916, many of the external limestone blocks were replaced with limestone mined in Joliet. In 1978, the interior was rennovated.