star map…

Fifty years from now will there be a single building / structure that will be celebrated in the way Marina City was yesterday?

Marina City’s twin towers were the tallest concrete buildings in the world when they were constructed.

Celestial map of 22nd day of November 1960 A.D.

Lesson / Koan : Celebrate time and recognize times to celebrate.

With text in five languages, the map showed the position of the planets on November 22, 1960. It was then buried into the foundation of the east residential tower.

This building began on the 22nd day of November 1960 A.D. according to the Gregorian calendar. The planets in the heavens were as shown on this celestial map. The universal language of astronomy will permit men forever to understand and know on this date Marina City and its towers were a dream come true.

Two years to the day after the groundbreaking ceremony, on November 22, 1962, dignitaries gathered again at Marina City. This time, to bury into the foundation a celestial map showing the position of the stars and planets when ground was broken two years earlier.

Built for $36 million, the city-within-a-city, was quite the sensation during its design, construction and early life. It became a pop culture touchstone with images of the towers finding there way into everything from salt and pepper shakers and paper weights to advertising and motion pictures. The Portland Cement Association knew from the outset Marina City would be something special.


On November 22, 1960, at 11:00 a.m., a Who’s Who of notable Chicagoans, General Electric representatives, construction workers, and by telephone the president-elect, John F. Kennedy, gathered in a temporary structure on State Street to officially break ground at Marina City.

At Marina City groundbreaking ceremony, William McFetridge speaks by telephone with President-elect John F. Kennedy.


On November 22, 1963, John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas at 12:30 p.m.