Geoffrey Baer visits Tribune Tower.
Tribune Tower was built as part of a competition to create the most beautiful building in the world. No pressure, right? Just build the most beautiful building that the world has ever seen and get a sizable cash reward. As part of its 75th anniversary in 1922, the Chicago Tribune created the competition to design its new headquarters. New York architects John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood had the winning design, neo-Gothic in style and featuring flying buttresses at the top of the building like the ones on medieval churches. The resulting cathedral-like appearance gives the impression of a kind of house of worship. In 2021, the building was converted into condos, but it still pays homage to journalism. The condo developers preserved and restored the building's lobby, with its inscriptions honoring freedom of the press and freedom of speech, and a huge relief map supposedly made of decommissioned U.S. paper money showing the geographical extent of the Tribune’s coverage. As with other gothic cathedrals, ornamental creatures adorn Tribune Tower, here representing journalism rather than religion, including an owl with a camera, an elephant sniffing out a scandal, and figures representing Truth and Rumor.