After our five hours of O’Neil last night, I delighted in the cool air and bright sun as I walked to our morning meeting in what was designed to be “the most beautiful office building in the world.” In 1922 the Chicago Tribune held a competition for a design for its new headquarters with precisely that criteria as its primary consideration. Raymond Hood and John Mead Howell won with a design for a tower adapting the style of a classical French cathedral complete with flying butresses.
I’m not sold on the “most beautiful” classification as I have some other candidates (Seagram or Transamerica or Marin Center anyone?). But I’m mightily impressed by one ground level feature. Embedded into the stone blocks visible from the sidewalks around the base of the tower and the adjacent WGM building are bricks and stones from important buildings and places around the world.
Where else can you see and/or actually touch a piece of such legendary places as Hamlet’s Castle in Elsinore, the Berlin Wall, The Great Wall of China, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of Tears in Amsterdam, the Great Pyramid of Cheops or chunks of stone from the islands where so many of the battles of World War Two were waged!! — Brad Hathaway