Rantopolis

Surprises hidden in the water tower

I’ve lived in Chicago all my life, with the exception of that lost decade in Cleveland.  One of Chicago’s most famous landmarks is the Water Tower.  It was one of the few structures that remained standing after the Great Chicago Fire in 1871.

In the past 20 years that I’ve lived down the street from it, I must have walked by it hundreds of times.  But never once have I walked inside.  In fact, I didn’t even know that you could.  Just another example of how we frequently don’t pay attention to things in our own backyard.

Or maybe this is just means that I’m an idiot.

A few days ago, I was invited to attend a play.  When I noticed the address, I figured that the theater had to be somewhere around the Water Tower.  What I didn’t realize was that it was in the Water Tower until I used Mapquest to pinpoint the location.

Hmmm.  There is a theater inside the Water Tower?!  Wow.  Next thing you’ll be telling me is that there is water in the Water Tower.

So, walk a mile down the street and enter the Water Tower.  Well, shut my Alice in Wonderland mouth!

The Water Tower has water and lots of it!

I was stunned to discover that the Water Tower not only had water, but it had a large tourist center, a lovely seating area and…..wait for it….a one-room Chicago Public Library.  And oh yeah, the theater.  (It also had a person who kept mumbling to himself, but hey, not every experience is perfect.)

The Chicago Public Library branch is on the left. Note the vinyl albums. I wonder when the last time this inventory was updated. 1950s??

Maybe next weekend, I will attempt to explore the city’s sewer system.  Perhaps I will find the lost city of Atlantis.  Or maybe just a nightclub for rodents.

Categories: Chicago style , Random thoughts