Historic Water Tower
Historic Water Tower
4
Points of Interest & LandmarksObservation Decks & Towers
About
Duration: < 1 hour
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.

Top ways to experience Historic Water Tower and nearby attractions

The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Near North Side
How to get there
  • Chicago • 5 min walk
  • Grand • 9 min walk
Reach out directly

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 bubbles230 reviews
Excellent
90
Very good
102
Average
36
Poor
1
Terrible
1

Irina
United States11,140 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.

TravelingSoccerLoon
Saint Paul, MN3,596 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Friends
Historic landmark that sits along the Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue and offers an incredible contrast between the old and the new as the John Hancock Center and Watertower Place shopping complex sit adjacent. It is a symbol of Chicago and is famous for it was one of the few structures to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 being that it was made of limestone. The Historic Water Tower and the adjacent Pumping Station across the street make for a great stop and photo if exploring downtown Chicago.
Written 12 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.

Cheryl J
Indianapolis, IN539 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Family
Quick stop to see a great piece of Chicago history. Worth walking to and stopping to see and take pictures.
Written 13 November 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.

BradJill
Hong Kong, China160,090 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023
The historic Water Tower is a landmark building located along N. Michigan Avenue at the Jane Byrne Plaza. It was built along with the pumping station across the street by prolific architect William W. Boyington (1867-69) and made up entirely of limestone which allowed the two buildings to survive the infamous fire of 1871 that destroyed almost the entire city of Chicago. As such, the Water Tower and Pumping Station are two of the oldest surviving buildings in the city. It is also recognised as an American Water Landmark (1969) for being the second oldest water tower in America.

From the Jane Byrne Plaza you can enjoy an up close look at the Water Tower and its somewhat whimsical castle like exterior. The City Gallery is located with and is open for visitation when exhibitions are being held. It makes for an interesting building to view while browsing or shopping along the Magnificent Mile.
Written 22 May 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.

betsnow
Tucson, AZ1,385 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.

Grover R
Pensacola, FL18,123 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
This is rarity in downtown Chicago as this building, due to its stone exterior, is one of the only survivors of the Chicago fire. So it offers the visitor a rare glimpse of Old Chicago juxtaposed to New Chicago and the difference is jarring, see the pictures. It is on the Magnificent Mile so it is easy to combine with other sites in the city.

The building itself is an awesome stone structure that appears closer to Europe than the US and certainly Chicago, the home of the modern skyscraper. Also interesting that the building to supply water survived the fire. Still this is another different architectural style you can find in this city.
Written 24 November 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.

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.

James A
Windsor, Canada18,751 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.

Betty
2,808 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021
The building is impressive and it is an architectural landmark. There is an art gallery inside but it is temporarily closed.
Written 6 November 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.

CharlieinTexas
Austin, TX4,012 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.

Showing results 1-10 of 165
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

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

Frequently Asked Questions about Historic Water Tower


Restaurants near Historic Water Tower: View all restaurants near Historic Water Tower on Tripadvisor

All Chicago HotelsChicago Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Chicago
All things to do in Chicago
RestaurantsFlightsTravel StoriesCruisesCar Hire