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Hofmann Tower

Posted by
Steven (Chicagoland, United States) on 31 May 2017 in Architecture and Portfolio.

At the turn of the century, one of Lyons' leading residents, George Hofmann, Jr., dreamed of creating a peaceful area for picnicking and boating. To be an area that would be a source of pleasure and pride for the community. It was to be a special place with a regal tower structure patterned after European castles so that people could enjoy the lovely view from the top.

In 1908, George Hofmann commissioned the H.W. Sauber Construction Company to build his tower from plans imported from Germany on property originally purchased by the Hofmann family in 1874. The tower and dam are located at a ford in the Des Plaines River and an old Indian trail. The dam, built in 1830 in conjunction with a nearby mill, was improved at the time of the tower's construction.

In addition to boat rides and the view from the top of the tower, other activities enjoyed by families were games, contests, concerts and dancing. It was a place to meet friends, drink beer and relax on a summer afternoon.
Pollution of the river brought an end to Hofmann's dream. By 1920, the picnics and boat excursions were discontinued and the once lovely area was deserted. More than the end of a dream, it was the end of an era.

Mr. Hofmann died in 1942, and his heirs sold the tower to the Forest Preserve District of Cook County in 1946. The once noble Hofmann Tower then fell into a state of neglect. The Lyons Historical Commission, realizing the important historical value of the Hofmann Tower, was successful in having the building named a village landmark. Later, in September 1978, it was named a State Landmark, and in December 1978 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The State of Illinois took ownership of the building in 1984 and, thanks to then State Representative Judy Baar Topinka, began its work on the building. The retaining wall which runs parallel to the tower was replaced, the floors in the tower have been reinforced, electricity has been installed, and the building now contains a permanent iron stairway and a new concrete roof. A new door was installed which duplicated the original door and a flagpole was once again placed on the roof so that on Landmark Day in 1988, Old Glory flew once again atop Hofmann Tower for the first time in over 50 years.

In 1989, the Lyons Historical Commission was finally able to move into the building. A museum has been started on the second floor and the interior of the old Lyons Post Office was reconstructed on the fourth floor.

Photo captured April 1, 2017.

NIKON D7000 1/250 second F/8.0 ISO 100 24 mm

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Spotlight Images

Jypyä Pop from Turku, Finland

Fine architecture

31 May 2017 5:32am

Nicou from Sion, Switzerland

Quelle belel tour et vue quel rendu sueprbe image.
amitié

31 May 2017 5:45am

tataray from Charentes-Poitou, France

Magnifique tour. )

31 May 2017 6:14am

Martine from France

Elle est très belle !

31 May 2017 7:09am

Martine Libouton from Bousval, Belgium

Très belle prise

31 May 2017 8:18am

Hiro from Kyoto, Japan

Good looking tower !

31 May 2017 8:51am

grouser from Ludlow, United Kingdom

Could be a castle on a giant chessboard :) Nice capture

31 May 2017 9:23am

Shaun from Thorton, United States

Excellent look at this tower. Superb color in this image.

31 May 2017 10:20am

Mhelene from Villiers-sur-Marne, France

Superb image ! He had a great idea !!

31 May 2017 10:44am

Annima from Toulouse, France

Nice with the clouds.

31 May 2017 12:37pm

Tomek from PoznaƄ, Poland

Fantastic tower.

31 May 2017 1:39pm

Devi from Chennai, India

Thank you for sharing this fine piece of architecture..and thank you for the information .. good narration

31 May 2017 3:04pm

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

This stately tower has a long and interesting history. I enjoy your beautiful photo of it.

31 May 2017 3:19pm

Ruthiebear from Titusville, NJ, United States

A stunning image. the color and light are superb.

31 May 2017 3:20pm

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

Those graduated blues in the windows are really eye catching - good work!

31 May 2017 4:49pm

Adela Fonts from Barcelona, Spain

An exquisite image of a noble tower!

31 May 2017 5:21pm

Yvon from Belgium

Nice shoot : bravo.
Have a lovely end of week, Steven.
Yvon.

31 May 2017 7:43pm

omid from mashhad, Iran

such beautiful composition, clouds & colors!
Amazing tower!

31 May 2017 8:21pm

Etsu from Kyoto, Japan

Beautiful sky. Great capture of the architecture.

31 May 2017 10:40pm

Michael Rawluk from Williams Lake, BC, Canada

That is so cool.

31 May 2017 11:55pm

Harry from Apex, NC, United States

nice shot. I drove by that tower many times during my high school years but learned more of its history today

31 May 2017 11:59pm

Elaine Hancock from Olney, United States

This is a gorgeous tower and wonderful piece of architecture. Mr. Hofmann had a wonderful vision. I love how it was fashioned after the castles in Europe. It was sort of a sad ending to the tower and his dream but am glad that the tower has been restored. It is beautiful!

1 Jun 2017 12:22am

Sam from Chennai, India

Beautiful architecture. And a fine shot. :)

1 Jun 2017 8:39am

L'Angevine from Angers, France

belle

1 Jun 2017 8:49am

Remus from Portugal

No doubt this tower resembles the towers of the medieval castles.
It's a beautiful tower and the photo was well taken.

2 Jun 2017 1:39pm

London Caller from United Kingdom

It looks like a water tower/ folly! ;)

6 Jun 2017 10:36pm