This design was the result of an international competition for "the most beautiful office building in the world," held in 1922 by the Chicago Tribune newspaper. The various competition entries proved extremely influential for the development of skyscraper architecture in the 1920s. The winning entry, with a crowning tower with flying buttresses, is derived from the design of the French cathedral of Rouen.
The base of the building is studded with over 120 stones from famed sites and structures in all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries. They include the Trondheim Cathedral, Taj Mahal, the Parthenon, Palace of Westminster, petrified wood from the Redwood National and State Parks, the Great Pyramid, the Alamo, Notre-Dame, Abraham Lincoln's Tomb, the Great Wall of China, the Berlin Wall, Bunker Hill, the World Trade Center and Mark Twain's "Injun Joe Cave" among others.