Friday File: Fairytale Castle, Downtown Chicago!


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.

  21 comments for “Friday File: Fairytale Castle, Downtown Chicago!

  1. February 3, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    It’s a beautiful building, in those days things created seemed more art work yet functional as well. Great photo Cher!

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 3, 2017 at 4:38 pm

      Thanks, John! Oh yes, I agree. My friend refers to such structures as possessing, “form and function” 😉 Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • February 3, 2017 at 4:48 pm

        Good words to describe it. More interesting than the Bean I bet!

        Liked by 1 person

      • February 3, 2017 at 4:49 pm

        *LOL* Thank you, John! Oh, well I was going to do a ‘bean post’ so don’t look! *LOL* Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

      • February 3, 2017 at 4:50 pm

        Oooops, sorry. I’d like to see the Bean too. I’ve been at your airports and drove through the city before but never explored.

        Liked by 1 person

      • February 3, 2017 at 4:54 pm



      • February 3, 2017 at 4:51 pm

        Show me the Bean!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • February 3, 2017 at 4:55 pm

        *LOL* Ah, I was just teasing you, John! I know you will look at the bean post!! 🙂 🙂 xo

        Liked by 1 person

      • February 3, 2017 at 5:09 pm

        I love beans in my chili… hehe

        Liked by 1 person

      • February 3, 2017 at 5:10 pm

        I’ll keep that in mind! Hehehe

        Liked by 1 person

  2. February 3, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    Nice shot of the Water Tower. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 3, 2017 at 5:27 pm

      Thank you, my fellow Chicagoan! Cher xo


  3. February 3, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    I remember taking a picture of this building when I visited Chicago a few years ago, and I wondered what it was. Now I know! Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 4, 2017 at 10:59 am

      Oh did you? Yes, I think the first time I saw it I thought it was a museum of sorts! But I must say that I would NEVER have guessed it was part of a water tower! Who knew? Not me! *LOL* Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  4. February 3, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    The Water Tower was outside the front door of Loyola’s Lewis Towers campus. When I was an undergrad, it sat on an open grassy area (they’ve since put fences around it and taken up much of the grass). On nice days, we would go out and sit on the lawn, and sometimes throw a football or Frisbee around. It was like the front lawn. As much building as Loyola has done in that area, I’m not even sure that the original Lewis Tower building is there anymore…

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 4, 2017 at 10:58 am

      I will have to check it out and see if it is still there, John. It must have been great to be able to sit there and relax! Cher xo


  5. Kate
    February 4, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    Didn’t know you were by my house – you should have stopped for Coffee! Wink!

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 4, 2017 at 6:38 pm

      Well now, I should have stopped by!!! Cher xo


  6. February 6, 2017 at 12:24 pm
    Around the corner, in that special place, is that Gothic structure where I attended school, from 1955-1960. We swam in the Loyola pool on days off, in the Lewis Tower Building. In 1959-1960, as freshmen in college, we were allowed, in the warm sunny spring, to sit around the Water Tower. Ah, sweet and great memoriesofatime….


  7. September 30, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Three times a survival. Somehow this reminds me of that particular love song by the Commodores.. Three Times a Lady 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 30, 2017 at 6:31 pm

      LOL That is very clever! Thank you! Cher xo


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