Palmolive Building, 919 N. Michigan Avenue. Holabird and Root, 1929. Night view from south. (Contemporary post card, collection of Thomas Leslie)
The Palmolive’s exterior skin was utterly flat between its setbacks, with no projections on its solid, Bedford stone verticals. Floodlights placed close to these surfaces provided dramatic uplighting without casting long shadows while an aeronautical beacon emphasized the building’s dominant position on the northern skyline. The result was a “silver tower,” a moniker enshrined in the name of the first-floor restaurant, the Tour l’Argent.
Taken from Chicago Skyscrapers, 1871-1934 (University of Illinois Press, June 2013).