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Lake Point Tower


Lake Point Tower


Structure in General

existing [completed]
caisson foundation
curtain wall
international style


residential condominium
shop(s) restaurant parking


  • The building's design influenced two other residential towers on Chicago's lakefront: Harbor Point and Park Tower Condominiums.
  • On top of the building there is a circular penthouse occupied by a restaurant. The restaurant floor does not revolve.
  • Tallest all-residential building in the world from 1968 until 1993, when Tregunter 3 was completed in Hong Kong.
  • The roof of the building's west podium holds the 2.5 acre Skyline Park, which features a duck pond, waterfall, playground, and wooded trails.
  • Lake Point Tower was the first commission its architects ever received.
  • The architects were recognized with an Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects in 1970.
  • On the third floor a Thomas McGlynn sculpture titled 'The Word' commemorates the fact that there were no fatalities during the building's construction.
  • The entrance is a driveway which crosses underneath the pedestal into a circular opening that frames an upward view of the tower.
  • Every window of every residential unit in the building has a view of Lake Michigan.
  • The structural/elevator core at the center is triangular.
  • Lake Point Tower is the only tall building in Chicago east of Lake Shore Drive; a city ordinance prohibits construction of any others. Harbor Point and 400 East Randolph were also east of the Drive before the highway was shifted eastward.
  • Original plans called for 4 rounded lobes, but the final plan was more economical to construct.
  • Other Lake Point Towers can be found in Bangkok, North Palm Beach, and Hallandale Beach, but they all look very different from this one.
  • Landscape architect Alfred Caldwell designed gardens for the entire roof of the pedestal, but the small section east of the tower was never developed.
  • The building's curves were calculated so residents cannot see into each other's windows.
  • Lake Point Tower was finally surpassed as the tallest all-residential building in Chicago in June 2003 when 55 East Erie was topped out.
  • Though it is only the 21st-tallest completed building in Chicago, Lake Point Tower ranks 5th in the number of floors.
  • The window mullions are spaced precisely so that they disappear from the point of view of a person standing right at the glass.
  • World's tallest reinforced concrete building from 1968 until 1971, when it was surpassed by One Shell Plaza in Houston.
  • Lake Point Tower is located on the peninsula which leads into Navy Pier, one of Chicago's most popular tourist attractions.
  • When it opened this building contained the highest residences above ground level in the world, although it was surpassed a year later by the John Hancock Center a few blocks away.
  • The condominium conversion in 1988 was at the time the largest ever in the United States in terms of property value.
  • This is by far the shortest building in the world with 70-plus floors; the next-shortest is Circle on Cavill (North Tower) in Gold Coast City, Australia.
  • The original plan was to construct identical towers to the east and west of Lake Point Tower, with 3 total.
  • To perfect the uninterrupted simplicity of the tower's facade, heating, air conditioning, and ventilation systems were hidden in the fixed window sashes.
  • Baseball slugger Sammy Sosa is a former resident of this building.
  • The three arms are equally spaced at 120 degree angles.
  • The architects persuaded the developer to build a taller building than originally intended, to leave room for more park space around it.
  • A few apartments in the building were formerly used as temporary housing for actors working in Chicago, including Anthony Quinn, Tom Cruise, Dolly Parton, and Tom Selleck.
  • The design was influenced by a visionary skyscraper for Berlin drawn in 1922 by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

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More Information


505 North Lake Shore Drive
500 North Streeter Drive, 542 East Illinois Street, 543 East Grand Avenue
505 North Lake Shore Drive
Near North Side

Technical Data

645.01 ft
645.01 ft
645.01 ft
Oct 1965

Involved Companies

Graham, Anderson, Probst & White
developer, elevator supplier, facade maintenance system supplier, facade supplier, formwork supplier, general contractor, glass supplier, landscape architect, lightning protection, mechanical engineering, parking management, property management, sealants & adhesives supplier, structural engineering, surveyor, window supplier

Features & Amenities

  • One of the city's famous buildings
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