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Water Tower Place, Chicago, Illinois, Perspective

A work made of pencil and felt tip markers on paper.

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  • A work made of pencil and felt tip markers on paper.




C.F. Murphy, Associate, in joint venture with Loebl, Schlossman, Bennett & Dart
American, 1925-75

Designed by Gene Summers with Helmut Jahn
Delineated by Wojciech Madeyski

About this artwork

In the 1970s, Chicago skyscrapers exploded in scale, innovation, and technological sophistication. Two seminal buildings of this period appear side by side in this rendering of North Michigan Avenue—the John Hancock Center (1970) and Water Tower Place (1976). Designed by architect Bruce Graham and engineer Fazlur Kahn of the architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the muscular black frame of the John Hancock Center expresses its trussed-tube system, a new engineering concept that allowed the rise of supertall towers while advancing a distinctive structural aesthetic. Water Tower Place, shown in a preliminary two-tower version in the foreground, advanced a different kind of innovation—a new form of mixed-use skyscraper that joined a large retail mall and parking with office space and residential units, transferring formerly suburban functions to the city center.


Currently Off View


Architecture and Design


Charles F. Murphy (Architect)


Water Tower Place, Chicago, Illinois, Perspective


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Pencil and felt tip markers on paper


114.3 × 83.5 cm (45 × 32 7/8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Helmut Jahn

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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