When you think of iconic landmarks across the globe, the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy probably comes to mind. But did you know that there is a scaled-down replica of this famous tower right here in the United States? The tower is called the Leaning Tower of Niles, located in Niles, Illinois, just outside of Chicago.
The half-size replica of the leaning Tower of Pisa stands at approximately 94 feet tall. It is roughly half the size of the height of the leaning Tower of Pisa. Construction began on the tower in 1931. Construction continued for three years until it was completed in 1934 by Robert Ilg. The tower was created as part of a recreational park for employees of the Ilg Hot Air Electric Ventilating Company of Chicago.
Over the years, the tower has undergone restoration efforts to ensure its stability and preservation. Today, the Leaning Tower of Niles stands as a symbol of community pride. It’s a popular spot for tourists and locals alike, who come to snap photos, have picnics in the nearby park, or admire its quirky charm. While it doesn’t serve as a clock tower like the original, it has a unique place in the hearts of those who visit.
My family stopped to visit the Leaning Tower of Niles while on our way to Chicago, and it did not disappoint. The architectural details were just fantastic. Although it was extremely cold outside, we did spend a good amount of time admiring the tower from all angles. Hopefully, on our next trip to Europe, we will stop at the Leaning Tower of Pisa and see the landmark that inspired it all.