Chicago Tribune Tower

A friend recently sent me a photo of fragments from Angkor in the Chicago Tribune tower. I was curious, so I Wiki-ed.

Collection of famous building fragments

Prior to the building of the Tribune Tower, correspondents for the Chicago Tribune brought back rocks and bricks from a variety of historically important sites throughout the world at the request of Colonel McCormick. Many of these reliefs have been incorporated into the lowest levels of the building and are labeled with their location of origin. Stones included in the wall are from such sites as the Trondheim CathedralTaj MahalClementine Hall, the ParthenonHagia SophiaCorregidor IslandPalace of Westminsterpetrified wood from the Redwood National and State Parks, the Great PyramidThe AlamoNotre-DameAbraham Lincoln’s Tomb, the Great Wall of ChinaIndependence HallFort Santiago, the Berlin WallAngkor Wat, Ta Prohm, and Banteay Srei among others.

Some of these had a political or social context such as the column fragment of Wawel Castle located in its own niche over the upper-left corner of the main entrance, as a visual tribute to Chicago’s large Polish populace, the largest such presence outside of the Republic of Poland. There are 136 fragments in the building. More recently a rock returned from the moon was displayed in a window in the Tribune giftstore (it could not be added to the wall as NASA owns all moon rocks, and it is merely on loan to the Tribune), and a piece of steel recovered from the World Trade Center has been added to the wall.

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