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!

Author: Editor

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

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