This is the thing I love about Chicago: You never know what you are going to see at any given time! Case in point: the above photo is that of a magical ‘castle’ in downtown Chicago. But wait, what do we really have here in our midst?
Now a historic landmark, this lovely old building was once used as a water tower. Located inside this city castle is a forty-meter-tall standpipe; this was used to equalize the pressure of the water pumped from the adjacent pumping station. Lake Michigan was (and still is) the source of water for Chicagoans. It was built in 1869 and constructed from limestone blocks. It was a mainstay for providing water to the residents of Chicago until 1906.
This functional fairytale castle survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. It truly has become an icon for Chicago’s resilience. At least three times during the 20th century this beauty was marked for demolishing. Ah, enter the proverbial public outcry, and this neo-Gothic landmark has surpassed its predicted existence over and over again.
A little piece of local folklore: Rumor has it that the “King and Queen of Chicago” live in the tower! Don’t believe me? Ask any child who has been introduced to the castle. There will be no hesitation on their part to inform you (with an emphatic kiddo voice) that YES that is where the royal Chicagoans hang their crowns.