What It’s Like On Top Of The Palmolive Beacon

We get a lot of amazing and insightful comments on our web site, and for some reason until today it never occurred to me to share them on the blog because most people don’t spend their days cruising the main web site looking for new posts.

The Lindberg Beacon atop the Palmolive Building.

So, here’s one that came in last night.  Ron Singer left this comment on our Palmolive Building (919 North Michigan Avenue) page:

I worked for Playboy during the summer of 1967 and operated the beacon when the Hancock Building was under construction. As a 19 year old electrical engineering student at the Illinois Institute of Technology, it was quite a thrill to crank up the motor-generator set in the equipment room at the base of the tower and then ride the tiny one-man elevator up to a ladder that led to the open catwalk surrounding the beacon.  The carbon rods that sustained the bright arc burned down in a while and I had to climb inside the beacon every two hours to replace them.  It was scary as hell all alone up there on rainy nights!  Great memories of the Chicago skyline from the top of the world!

Related Articles

The New Wave of Architecture Crashing Michigan Avenue Design, like most human-powered endeavors, comes and goes in waves.  What is in fashion one day is verbotten the next.  Then brought back in revered...
Skyscraper Shadows The shadows of Gold Coast skyscrapers stretch into Lake Michigan as a Winter afternoon wears on. If you like this photograph, click here to order ...
The Tops: Palmolive Building Today we continue our series called "The Tops."  Every year, millions of people admire Chicago's architecture.  Most people only get to see the city's...
Editor

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at chicagoarchitectureinfo@gmail.com.

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Human Verification: In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.