Historic Water Tower
Historic Water Tower
4
Points of Interest & LandmarksObservation Decks & Towers
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Near North Side
How to get there
  • Chicago • 5 min walk
  • Grand • 9 min walk
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles233 reviews
Excellent
91
Very good
103
Average
37
Poor
1
Terrible
1

betsnow
Tucson, AZ2,051 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Couples
Easy historical site to visit as you explore the beautiful downtown city of Chicago. We had no idea the amazing architecture in this city and The Water Tower is worth meandering by. It is pretty awesome to see such a unique structure made of limestone so long ago that survived the fires.
Written 1 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lois C
4 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022 • Couples
My husband and I visited Chicago for our 55th wedding anniversary trip. It was our first vacation since COVID, and we have always wanted to see the city. We stayed in the Hampton Inn hotel in the theater district. It was very convenient to public transportation and was in walking distance to many attractions. We had some cold rainy weather which prevented us from taking the Sunday boat tour to hear the history of the architecture of the buildings, but we went to the Field Museum, had a Chicago style hotdog, visited Navy Pier, Millennium Park, Cloud Gate, tour of Wrigley Field, and had a delicious deep dish pizza. We spent a wonderful day at the Chicago Art Institute, as well. The Skydeck in the Willis Tower was a highlight for us both! Our son who has been to Chicago with his wife and famiky twice, helped us plan a great trip.
Written 6 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CharlieinTexas
Austin, TX5,113 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021 • Couples
This building was across from our hotel, and visible out the window. When I first saw the building from our hotel window I thought it was awfully small for a church. And then realized that it wasn’t a church. Really impressive architecture, worth a very close look from the outside.
Written 25 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

James A
Windsor, Canada19,733 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022 • Solo
I went by the Water Tower on my way to the Starbucks Reserve so it was not the attraction I was aiming for but it was in a nice little park with lots of benches to sit and relax on and there were families there. I stayed a few minutes and took some photos. It was really nice but don’t go out of your way to see it.
Written 27 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Irina
United States13,542 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Solo
Historic Water Tower is impossible to miss, if you are on the North Michigan Avenue (The Magnificent Mile), at the North Side area.

The tower was designed by architect William W. Boyington, and built of limestone in 1869. Truly a witness, victim, and survivor of The Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the tower was the only public building left in the area after that disaster. It was renovated in 1913 --1916, and then in 1978.

It wouldn't be a big exaggeration to say, that the tower is one of the main historic attractions in a bustling area of N Michigan Avenue. The tower (height 182.5 ft : 55 m) stands out in the company of stunning residential high-rises and skyscrapers, modern and historic hotels, upscale shops, and fine-dining restaurants. It is also surrounded by large trees in a small and beautiful park, named for former Chicago mayor Jane Byrne.

In 1969 Historic Water Tower was named an American Water Landmark, and in 1975 it was listed in The National Register of Historic Places (NHRP).

Each time I happen to be on The Magnificent Mile, I stop and look at Historic Water Tower -- and it always looks beautiful to me.
Written 13 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Irina
United States13,542 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
Water Tower is one of my favorite landmarks in Chicago. I always make a point in stopping by, when I am in the area. It looks beautiful in any season, in any weather.

I look at Water Tower, and I think about this gorgeous city - its dedicated people, and its long history.

I think about its past, I admire its present, and I wish it great future.
Written 2 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

The_Loup_Garou
Phoenix, AZ166,093 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2017 • Solo
I still had fond memories of the Water Tower, on N Michigan Ave, from a previous visit. Then, we had stayed at the Ritz Carlton, at Water Tower Place, and I spent quite a bit of time, just appreciating the architecture of the Water Tower. Next time in the area, the weather was so bad, that we basically only saw it, from the rear seat of a cab. On this November trip, I got the time to explore the Water Tower, and again, appreciate its architecture, and history.

During this visit, crews were installing Holiday decorations and lights, but unfortunately, we were leaving Chicago, before all was erected, and turned on – just missed the full effect, by a day!

The building is certainly in keeping with the historic architecture of Chicago, but now rather looks a bit out of place, since it is surrounded by so many modern structures. Only the Fourth Presbyterian Church, a block up, is “keeping it company” now. At least it still stands, and for over 100 years (oldest building north of the Loop and the Chicago River).

Though our timing was just off, I spent several hours, over a few days, just exploring. I hope to see the area around the building with Spring plantings, when we return in late March – though who knows, I might see it covered in snow?
Written 27 January 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Luvs2TravelAnywhere
New York City, NY7,202 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2016
The Historic Water Tower sits on Michigan Ave and is not far from the John Hancock Building. It is an amazing historic structure. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to climb up the tower.
Written 9 April 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sandtravel2
Waterloo, Canada80 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2018 • Couples
The Water Tower is one of the survivors of the Chicago fire. Looks like something you might find in a Harry Potter movie. Take a quick peek if you are in the area.
Written 9 September 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dcstep
Greenwood Village, CO218 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018 • Business
Plopped down right in the Miracle Mile, the Water Tower and the Pump Building across the street are of a different era. The old architecture provide a nice, photogenic contrast to all the modern building surrounding it.
Written 27 August 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Historic Water Tower - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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