Lake Point Tower: The building who skipped Chicago’s urban laws

Skyline Architecture- Lake Point TowerDid you know Lake Point Tower is the only skyscraper with the privilege to be right next to Lake Michigan? The landowners of the time made some really clever movements to skip the city’s prohibition to build on the Lakefront.
SONY DSCHistoric picture – Lake Point Tower was the first development in the river industrial area

Lake Point Tower rises a little bit apart from the high-rise cluster of downtown Chicago, just north of the river mouth, in a set off position that beautifully punctuates the Skyline. Well known for its graceful curves and enviable location, Lake Point Tower is one of the most widely recognized Chicago landmarks.

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Chicago Skyline from museum pier – Lake Point Tower punctuating the building sequence on the right

Leading the skyscraper race, with its 197m – 645feet height was the tallest apartment building in the world at the time of completion in 1968. Because of its height and its unique location on the lakeshore the building had to be designed to withstand high winds, therefore the architects thought of a big central concrete core containing the elevators and stairwells that supported all vertical loads. Then, radiating from the core there are three arms (120º apart), which form an asymmetrical Y-shaped floor plan. The outer walls are strategically curved to ensure that the residents could not see into each other apartments.

Construction Process
The façade of the building is a curtain of bronze-tinted glass framed by gold-anodized aluminum, which reflects the sunlight, looking beautifully golden at sunrise and sunset.
The architects of Lake Point Tower were John Heinrich and George Schipporeit, both students of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who taught at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. The influence of the great master, one of the best known architects of the Bauhaus movement and of the International Style school, can be seen in the facade glass-curtained aesthetics. In fact, the building was inspired by Mies van der Rohe’s 1922 unbuild design of an office skyscraper in Berlin.

Lake Point Tower Façade

Lake Point Tower project also incorporated some innovative features in high-rise residential buildings; apart from being the first all-electric, it was really a pioneer in the concept “Green in the City” with its spectacular 2’5acre private park – three stories above ground.
At Skyline Architecture we had the opportunity to visit it and we were really amazed; from the flabbergasting views to the great landscape design that includes a playground, a swimming pool, a barbecue area, a duck pond and waterfalls…really, who wouldn’t like to live here?
Unique city views from the community park
Duck pond in winter

Loved it? Wait to see the interior…
We were very lucky to found a resident passionate about architecture and willing to show us his apartment located in the very end of the north arm of the building. What a privilege!

Studio Area
Living Room
Natural Ventilation System
Flabbergasting east views – Lake Michigan horizon line
South views
Space continuity through all the apartment – Views without interruption

If you are in the city and wish to experience this architecture master piece you can always enjoy a good cocktail or have a perfect date dinner in the lounge & restaurant located on the top floor of the 70 story residential tower, a gourmet French/American cuisine with boasting spectacular views of the city.
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Cité Chicago restaurant –
We thought it was quite impressive to be up there!
Enjoy your Lake Point Tower visit and feel free to share your experience with the Skyliners! Safe travels!!



One thought on “Lake Point Tower: The building who skipped Chicago’s urban laws

  1. Pingback: Aqua Tower: New architectural icon in Chicago’s skyline | Skyline Architecture Blog

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