Pictures of All 149 Rocks Stuck on the Tribune Tower [updated x2]

Tribune Tower

Tribune Tower

Recently we received an e-mail from a teacher who was looking for information about all of the cool stones embedded in the facade of the Tribune Tower (435 North Michigan Avenue).  We pointed her to the Tribune Tower entry in the Chicago Architecture Info database, which has a complete list.  But she wrote back because it wasn’t quite what she was looking for.  She was looking for pictures of the individual rocks.  All of them.  And she’d searched the intarweb high and low with no success.  Could we help?

Sure.  Why not.

So, here they are — all 149 of them as of May, 2009 — the last time we took a walk around the building and visually cataloged. them.  Click on each of the thumbnails below to see a larger picture of the rock in question.

New rocks are added very rarely these days, so if any are missing, it shouldn’t be more than one or two.  If you think we missed one, hit the “Contact” link to let us know, and we’ll fix it.

Updated – October 18, 2013

Thanks to Michael McAllister, who provided us with the photograph of the star-shaped vessel containing rocks from the grotto where Jesus is believed to have been born, beneath the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.   This artifact is the most important of the dozens on Tribune Tower, which is why it is inside the building.  Because of its location, we missed it when we first published this article.

Logically, that means the title of this article should change to “Pictures of All 150 Rocks…”, except that the moon rock has been taken out of its display window facing Michigan Avenue, which brings the number back down to 149.  The moon rock display window is now being used for advertising.

Updated – February 21, 2021

Another rock has been removed from Tribune Tower.  The fragment from the Cave of the Nativity has found a new home in north suburban Morton Grove.  This article has the details.

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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