Water Tower Place

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180 East Pearson, Chicago, IL

Water Tower Place

Exterior view of Water Tower Place
Building Information
Developer Urban Retail Properties
Architect Edward D. Dart
Number of Units 260
Number of Floors 74
Year Built 1975
Construction Method Concrete
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180 East Pearson, Chicago, IL
Distance to Public Transit Over 20 options nearby
Region Chicago
Municipality Chicago
Zoning DX-12
Title of Land Condominium



A view of the entire complex with John Hancock Center behind

The Water Tower Place condominium at 180 East Pearson Street is just one part of the large mixed-use development called Water Tower Place in Chicago. This 74-story high-rise contains a shopping center on the lower levels, office space, and The Ritz-Carlton hotel, which conveniently provides amenities to residents of the tower. The 260 condominium units are found on floors 33–74.[1]

The retail mall fronts onto Magnificent Mile, a stretch of Michigan Avenue known for its luxury commercial and residential spaces, as well as some landmark buildings including the nearby Chicago Water Tower that inspired the name for this mixed-use development. For Chicagoans and tourists alike, "Water Tower Place" is synonymous with world-class shopping. The mall is a destination for shoppers near and far, particular its Macy's department store.[2]

Water Tower Place was designed by modernist architect Edward D. Dart of Loebl Schlossman Bennett and Dart. Given the high number of stories, residents who live here have superb views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline. The building's sleek modern architecture and desirable location make it an attractive address for potential buyers.


The Water Tower Place skyscraper sits on 180 East Pearson Street right off of Michigan Avenue in the Streeterville neighborhood. This section of North Michigan Avenue is also dubbed "Magnificent Mile" for its large quantity of high-end residential and commercial buildings. Several of Chicago's tallest buildings are located in this stretch that runs from the Chicago River to Oak Street, including the John Hancock Center and Trump International Hotel and Tower.[3]

Chicago skyscrapers with labels

The area is well-known for its shopping, museums, and hotels. Residents living at 180 East Pearson Street don't have to wander far in search of a mall or restaurants. The eight level shopping mall attached to the skyscraper provides over 100 retail stores and numerous restaurants and other services.

The Museum of Contemporary Art is within walking distance for arts and culture lovers. For residents who enjoy the outdoors, the condominium is just a few blocks from the beaches of Lake Michigan and its nearby parks. Outdoor spaces include Oak Street Beach, Lake Shore Park, Connors Square, and the closest one, Seneca Park.

Loyola University of Chicago is just on the other side of North Michigan Avenue. The historic Water Tower, after which the condominium is named, lies to the north along Magnificent Mile and houses Chicago's City Gallery. Three rail options are available in this area as well as numerous bus lines.[4]


Water Tower Place is a sleek concrete high-rise building containing 74 floors and 260 condominium units. Designed by chief architect Edward D. Dart and developed by Philip Klutznick of Urban Retail Properties, the skyscraper was the tallest reinforced concrete building in the world in 1975. It stands as the eighth tallest building in Chicago.[5]

The exterior facade features grey and pearl marble and granite.[6] The building is a rectangular shape with windows covering all four sides. There is an attached parking garage that residents can pay a small fee to use.

Layout and Features

Most of the 260 units at Water Tower Place range from two to four bedrooms, although the penthouse suites boast as many as seven.

While there are no balconies, there are large windows that afford great views of the city skyline, waterfront, and Lake Michigan, especially seen from the higher floors.

Many suites have undergone extensive renovations. Cooking appliances are electric and the floor plans are well laid-out with wide rooms, huge closets and kitchens with a laundry room and pantry.[7]

Floor Plans

Here is a sample floor plan at Water Tower Place.

[8] - This link in the References section shows a renovated duplex unit


Residents at Water Tower Place get access to state-of-the-art amenities at the adjoining Ritz-Carlton Hotel:

  • concierge
  • room service
  • 24-hour doorman
  • four-lane indoor pool
  • Carlton Club and spa without any fee
  • leased indoor parking in the attached garage


Water Tower Place Bylaws
Pets Yes
Age No
Barbecues No

This building is pet friendly and no age restrictions are imposed on owners.

Barbecues are not permitted as there are no balconies.


Considering Water Tower Place was built in 1975, the building and floor plans have shown a high level of sustainability.

A fire safety project was just completed and many renovations have been done to the suites to bring them up-to-date, both design-wise and environmentally-wise.[1]

Additionally, the building's prime location and unbeatable access to numerous stores and restaurants make owning a car unnecessary.


Chicago Water Tower at night
  • The Chicago Water Tower was constructed between 1867 and 1869 by William W. Boyington. This famous landmark had a water pump inside that drew water from Lake Michigan to serve the municipality of Chicago. It was also used to regulate water pressure. Apart from its distinct architecture, which Oscar Wilde is reported to have said looked like "a castellated monstrosity with pepper boxes stuck all over it," the Tower became even more significant after it survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. It was one of the only buildings in the area to remain standing. As a result, it is a treasured landmark for the people of Chicago, signalling both a remnant of the old city and also, of the city's rebirth since this tragedy.[9]
  • The Water Tower Place shopping center claims the title of America's first vertical mall. Three other vertical malls along Magnificent Mile followed its successful lead.[10] The mall is comprised of eight stories with a chrome and glass atrium in the center filled with restaurants and eateries. A glass elevator takes residents up and down this well-circulated mall that also has a movie theater inside.
  • Oprah Winfrey owns a condominium at 180 East Pearson Street on the 56th floor. Celebrity star gazers shouldn't rush to the building in hopes of seeing her, however, as she spends most of her time on the West Coast and only stays here when taping her show.[10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Chicago Metro Area Real Estate
  2. Streeterville Homes
  3. Wikipedia-Magnificent Mile
  4. Walk Score
  5. Wikipedia-Water Tower Place
  6. See Chicago Real Estate
  7. Dreamtown
  8. Duplex unit video
  9. Wikipedia-Chicago Water Tower
  10. 10.0 10.1 Skyscraper Page

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