Montgomery Ward Tower Not Gone, Just Hidden

Thanks to Chicago Architecture Blog reader and Chicago Architecture Info Facebook fan Jim Mitch for letting us know about a glaring error in one of our earlier posts, and more importantly — about a hidden piece of Chicago architectural history.

In February we posted a note talking about the completion of the renovation of 6 North Michigan Avenue . This was one of the old Montgomery Ward buildings and used to have a 10-story tower on top of it capped by a huge pyramid.

In our post, we stated that the tower was taken down and that in the most recent renovation it was not restored.  That’s not correct.

Jim points out that the tower IS still there.  It’s just hidden.

What happened is that when Montgomery Ward added four floors to the top of the building in the 1940’s they partially swallowed up the tower.  Check out the sequence of images posted on Jim’s blog, Design Slinger :

Even though there isn’t a magnificent tower like before, at least the building’s not all that much shorter than before, as we’d originally assumed.

Sadly, the great pyramid cap is still missing from the current building, but what’s there is nice and certainly better than lopping off the remaining few stories to even the building out.

Again, thanks Jim!

(Moreover, this is a lesson to all you internet surfers out there — blogging is not journalism.)

Author: Editor

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

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