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Tribune Building I
Life Span: 1869-1871
Location: SE corner of Madison and Dearborn Streets
Architect: Edward Burling
Photographer: Copelin and Hine
Harper’s Weekly, May 22, 1869
THE NEW “CHICAGO TRIBUNE” BUILDING
Newspaper buildings are becoming a distinctive feature in the architecture of the country. The illustration presented herewith (below) represents the new building of the Chicago Tribune as it appeared on the night of Tuesday, May 10, when illuminated in honor of the completion of the Pacific Railway. The location of the edifice is at the southeast corner of Dearborn and Madison streets. Its area on the ground is 72 by 121 feet, and its height 70 feet. It is constructed of Athens (Illinois) marble, and is fire-proof in every part. The ceilings, stairways, and cornice are of iron, and the partition walls of brick. The floors are laid in cement, and the entire building is heated with Baker, Smith, & Co.’s hot-water apparatus. The ventilation of the building was planned by Professor Leeds, and is believed to answer all the requirements of modern hygienic science. The wood-work is butternut and black walnut, finely polished. The counting-room, which occupies the ground-floor corner, is not excelled in beauty or convenience by any office in the country. The editorial rooms (nine in number) are on the fourth floor. The press-room contains two of Hoe’s eight-cylinder printing-machines. The composing-room is 60 feet long, 50 feet wide, and 25 feet high, lighted on two sides and also at the top. Besides the room occupied by the Tribune Company for their own purposes there are between thirty and forty stores, offices, and basements rented to outsiders. The time occupied in the construction of the building was one year. It’s cost, exclusive of machinery, was $200,000. Altogether it is one of the most complete and durable printing establishments in the world.
The New Chicago Tribune Building
May 10, 1869
Photographer: John Carbutt #19
The Tribune, Times and Journal were all on Dearborn, in sight of each other. The Post, Mail and Staats Zeitung were in adjoining buildings on Washington street, near Dearborn. The McVicker’s Theatre is seen directly east.
This was the first building of its own construction. The first building the Tribune occupied was on the southwest corner of Lake and LaSalle streets, where they occupied one room in 1847. Two years later they moved to a room over Grey’s grocery store at the northwest corner of Clark and Lake streets. A year later the office was moved to a building at what was then 173 Lake street.
Further growth forced the paper out of this building and in 1852 it moved to the Evans Block at 53 Clark street, between Lake and Randolph streets.
In 1869, The Tribune moved from 51 Clark Street to a new building at,four stories high, of Joliet marble, at the site of Dearborn and Madison streets.The building was valued at $225,000 and was highly thought of as an architectural acomplishment in its day. The paper was published here till the Great Fire of 1871.
Display advertisement for the Chicago Tribune.
From Crofutt’s “Great Trans-Continental P.R.R. Tourist’s Guide”, 1870
Chicago Tribune Building Ruins
Charles R. Clark, Photographer