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Luxury Car Rentals Chicago and the Tribune Tower

It looms above the Chicago landscape, larger than life. One look at it and it's easy to see that this building is no ordinary skyscraper, what with its Gothic architecture and eye-catching details. So what's the story behind the Chicago Tribune Tower on North Michigan Avenue? Was it built simply for style, or is there more to it than what meets the eye? Well, what about both! The Tribune Building is, without a doubt, one of Chicago's most famed landmarks, enchanting luxury car rental travelers with its mysterious design and monumental stance. Built in the years between 1921 and 1925, the Tribune Building came about as the result of an architectural contest hosted by the Chicago Tribune. This international competition offered architects a $50,000 prize to design "the most beautiful and eye-catching building in the world". Part publicity stunt, part architectural outreach, the contest created what is no considered to be a unique turning point in American skyscraper history. More than 260 contest entries were received, one of which inspired the building now standing at 435 North Michigan Avenue.

The Makings of an Iconic Building

The winner of the Tribune's international architectural contest was a neo-Gothic design, complete with buttresses, by New York architects Howells & Hood. Although the building turned out to be quite beautiful, many contemporary critics were displeased with the final selection. Designed to compliment skyscraper precedents like the Chrysler Building, the Tribune Tower's design was far from innovative. The entry which was widely perceived to be the best was a radically simplified building designed by Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen. This creative design anticipated the coming impact of stripped-down modernism and was preferred by critics like Louis Sullivan. This design, rather than Howells & Hood's, that would go on to influence a whole new generation of skyscrapers. Other unique entries in the contest included ideas from Walter Gropius, Bertram Goodhue and Bruno Taut. Perhaps the most intriguing entry was that of a Rushmore-like building shaped like the head of an American Indian. Luxury car rental customers are encouraged to pick up the book The Chicago Tribune Tower Competition: Skyscraper Designs and Cultural Change in the 1920's by Katherine Solomonson and Richard A. Etlin. This book showcases and explains a great many of the Tribune Towers originally suggested design plans.

A Unique Tribute to the World's Wonders

Luxury car rental clients may be surprised to learn that the Tribune Tower is more than your average building. In fact, it functions sort of like a museum, showcasing some of the world's most influential architectural achievements in its very makeup. Prior to the building of the Tribune Tower, correspondents were sent out to collect rocks and bricks from a variety of internationally and historically significant sites. Done at the request of Colonel McCormick, these collected items were later incorporated into the lower levels of the building and labeled with their location of origin. Observant luxury car rental clients can pick out pieces of the Trondheim Cathedral, the Taj Mahal and Notre Dame. Pieces of the Parthenon, the Great Pyramid and Abraham Lincoln's Tomb can also be photographed, along with pieces of the Berlin Wall and the Great Wall of China. All in all, there are 136 fragments incorporated into the building. More recently a rock from the moon was displayed in the Tribune Towers front window. A piece of steel recovered from the World Trade Center is set to be added to the building shortly. Other architectural details on the Tribune Tower include sculptures by Rene Paul Chambellan. Carved images of Robin Hood and a howling dog are located near the main entrance to commemorate the buildings original architect (Raymond Hood and John Howells).

Luxury car rental customers are invited to embark on an exciting architectural adventure simply by visiting the Tribune Tower in downtown Chicago. The Tower still acts as the home of Chicago's daily newspaper the Chicago Tribune as well as WGN Radio. The building overlooks nearby Pioneer Court and Michigan Avenue.


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