The Water Tower and Pumping Station

They survived the Great Fire of Chicago, reason enough to go and visit these monuments to resistance.

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The Water Tower and Pumping Station

A symbol of the city's resilience.

They say that old flames die hard. In Chicago the flames of that tragic fire that swept through much of the city on 8th October 1871 have died, but two buildings survived to remind us of that time. The Water Tower was built in 1869, the fact that it was built of limestone saved it from the flames which has made it into a symbol of the city's resilience. In its day, at 47 metres high, it towered over the surrounding buildings, but now you have to look hard to find it among the skyscrapers. Surrounded by small neo-gothic towers, it looks more like a medieval castle than a water tower, and it has been saved from demolition several times by protests by the inhabitants of Chicago. The Pumping Station, built as a water pumping station in 1886 and also designed by William W. Boyington, is close by.

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