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Leaning Tower of Niles, Niles, Illinois | by Ken Lund
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Leaning Tower of Niles, Niles, Illinois

The Leaning Tower of Niles, Illinois, was completed in 1934 by industrialist Robert Ilg as part of a recreation park for employees of the Ilg Hot Air Electric Ventilating Company of Chicago. It is situated at 6300 W. Touhy Avenue and it is a 1/2 size copy of the original tower in Pisa, Italy, which is Niles' sister city.


Some speculate that part of the motivation to construct the tower was to celebrate the 600th anniversary of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. A more likely explanation is its original functional purpose, to store water for outdoor recreational swimming pools. In 1960, the descendants of Robert Ilg donated part of the park for the construction of the Leaning Tower YMCA.

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Taken on June 27, 2013