Lake Point Tower’s Gritty Beginnings

Imagine that it’s 1962. You’re a developer in a helicopter looking down on a potential building site in Chicago.  In one direction, the area you are inspecting looks like this.

View from Lake Point Tower showing nearby factories

Smoke belches out of factories.  There are warehouses and trucks and grime everywhere.  Only one residential building stands nearby–and it’s clear across the river.

You look to the east and see freighters at anchor next to Navy Pier.

Navy Pier near Lake Point Tower

You see a train coming up Illinois Avenue, right next to the proposed site, to deliver cargo to this huge freight terminal.

At that point, you could begin to think how another person might say no, the risk is too great. Millions of dollars are at stake.  If you’re wrong, you and all of your associates could end up broke.

But you decide to cast those doubts aside, and Lake Point Tower is born.


Learn how Bill Hartnett, an entrepreneur and visionary, put this deal together and got Lake Point Tower built.  Read this adventure story in Lake Point Tower: A Design History, four-color book available October 2 at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, 225 S Michigan Avenue.

We hope you’ll find the story as exciting as we did.  Let us know what you think. Also, if you like what you see here, check out these related posts:

Lake Point Tower: The Story of the Building of a Building Click here to learn about and view rare 1968 video of the building’s step-by-step construction, narrated by its architect, George Schipporeit.

Lake Point Tower and a Vision Fulfilled

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