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Architectural Book Celebrates Chicago’s Aesthetic and Engineering Masterpiece Lake Point Tower

Few buildings are as inspiring to read about as to experience, but Chicago’s Lake Point Tower satisfies on both counts. While its iconic curvilinear silhouette is world famous, its lesser known technical and design distinctions are now described in Lake Point Tower: A Design History, by Edward Windhorst, architect, and Kevin Harrington, architectural historian.

The book, the first about its subject, is being released by the Chicago Architecture Foundation on the occasion of the building’s 40th anniversary.

Lake Point Tower At completion, Lake Point Tower was the world’s tallest concrete building and boasted an advanced structural and mechanical design with a state-of-the-art curtain wall (exterior facade). It represents “an extraordinary technical achievement,” according to Windhorst, principal of Chicago’s Edward Windhorst James Gorski Architects LLC.

The 54-page publication includes striking color photography that captures the building’s unique design at scales large and small. Several of these images, including those of the book cover, are available on the 40th Anniversary page of our website.

Harrington, professor of Architectural History at the Illinois Institute of Technology, calls the structure “an aesthetic and engineering masterpiece.” Along with Franz Schulze, Harrington is co-author of Chicago’s Famous Buildings, now in its 5th edition, published by the University of Chicago Press.

The Board of Directors of the Lake Point Tower Condominium Association initiated the book project as part of a year-long celebration of the building’s 40th anniversary. To date, $40,000 has been donated by condominium owners and vendors to underwrite the book and related events.

Anniversary activities will culminate on October 28 with a symposium, “Lake Point Tower: Back Story of an Icon.” The free public event will be held 12:15-1:00 p.m. at the Chicago Architecture Foundation Lecture Hall Gallery, 224 South Michigan Avenue. Featured will be Lake Point Tower architect George Schipporeit, now 76, and book authors Edward Windhorst and Kevin Harrington. A book signing will follow.

Lake Point Tower: A Design History is available from the Chicago Architecture Foundation store (312-922-3432 x4) for $19.95 plus tax.

Lake Point Tower was designed by architects George Schipporeit and John Heinrich, both of whom were influenced by modern master Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The developer was Hartnett-Shaw Associates, Inc. The 70-story structure was completed in 1969 and converted to 879 condominiums in 1988. Its dark curvilinear silhouette and prominent setting east of Lake Shore Drive at the base of Navy Pier have made it a Chicago icon. One of the first projects to create a total urban environment, the complex includes amenities such as a grocery, dry cleaner, health club and penthouse restaurant. It also boasts one of the earliest green roof features: a private 2.5-acre park with lagoon, waterfall and swimming pool designed by renowned landscape architect Alfred Caldwell. Lake Point Tower is one of 150 structures listed on America’s Favorite Architecture, a website sponsored by the American Institute of Architects.

As part of the 40th anniversary activities, the Lake Point Tower Condominium Association has also produced a brochure and video about the building’s panoramic views and sophisticated amenities, launched a Lake Point Tower 40th Anniversary Blog (, and established a Flickr account to collect photographs of the building.
Lake Point Tower Condominium Association is located at 505 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago 60611. For further information on the 40th anniversary celebration, please contact Paul LeRoux, 312-467-2120, [email protected]. For general information on the association, please see our website or contact the management office (312) 467-0505 or [email protected].
The Chicago Architecture Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing public interest and education in architecture and design. The Chicago Architecture Foundation pursues this mission through architecture tours, exhibitions, panel discussions, and youth and adult education programs. Current exhibitions are Chicago Model City and B Like Burnham. The Chicago Architecture Foundation is located at 224 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60604. For further information visit or call 312.922.3432.

NOTE: Release and more resources available on 40th Anniversary link,

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