Willoughby Tower in Chicago

Photo of Willoughby Tower in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Willoughby Tower in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
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Photo of Willoughby Tower in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz
Photo of Willoughby Tower in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Willoughby Tower in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation

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Willoughby Tower

8 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, The Loop 60603
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A great example of the sort of building that made Chicago a living architectural museum. The Willoughby Tower stands tall and proud over the Michigan Avenue cliff, presiding over the parade of unique architecture at its sides. It is also a victim of early 20th century urban planning. The reason for the tall tower is to comply with a former city ordinance which stated that the portion of a building above a certain height could only occupy 25% of its footprint. Thus, the tall tower to maximize revenue and prestige while staying in line with setback laws. It helps distinguish this tower from the majority of buildings in the "cliff" which are all around 280 feet tall.

Quick Facts
Timeline
  • 1846: The Sisters of Mercy founded Chicago's first convent at this location.
  • 1980's: Two firefighters died when they fall down an elevator shaft fighting a fire in a burning elevator car.
  • 1994: The building was sold for $3,150,000.
Notes
  • This building is sometimes referred to as the "Willoughby Towers" when its full address of 2-8 South Michigan is used.
Did You Know?
  • This was the location of the Willoughby Building, a far less ambitious project of just eight stories.
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Your Thoughts

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  This is a beautiful tower with a gorgeous lobby. I had the opportunity to go to two of the 37th floor open air balconies. It has AMAZING views of all the loop buildings and lake Michigan.

Joshua - Tuesday, October 20th, 2009 @ 9:14pm