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Leiden Brick in Chicago Tribune Building

Posted on Saturday, May 9th, 2009 at 11:53 am CET

Before the 36-storey Tribune Tower was completed in 1925, correspondents for the Chicago Tribune newspaper brought back rocks and bricks from all over the world. Many of these stones have been incorporated into the lowest levels on the outside of the building and are labeled with their location of origin. Stones included in the wall are from such sites as the Taj Mahal, Parthenon, Great Pyramid, Notre-Dame and the Great Wall of China. On our visit to downtown Chicago last week, we were surprised to also see a brick from Leiden, our former home town, embedded in the wall.


The Dutch brick is from a house in Leiden that was used by the pilgrims in the 17th century before they set out on their voyage on the Mayflower to America.


In total there are 136 fragments in the building. Recently a piece of steel recovered from the World Trade Center in New York was added to the wall:

Steel from World Trade Center in Chicago Tribune Tower

By the way, did you know that for the 2008 film The Dark Knight, the Batcave scenes were filmed in the basement of this building? That was the large rectangular room with brightly lit ceiling. Pretty cool, he?


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