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The Tower's Twins 

Even a cursory search of the web reveals that the Lewis & Clark Tower of Moline Acres, featured in this week's cover story, and its longtime anchor tenant, Rizzo’s Top of Tower Restaurant, are sometimes confused for two other structures.

The Tower itself has been erroneously tagged or linked to the Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower, a 180-foot tall, low-key tourist attraction that’s open seasonally at the confluence of the Illinois and Missouri rivers, near Hartford, Illinois. For a small fee, visitors are able to elevate up to three outlook decks, where there is a view of the natural world, true; though the dominant visual elements are nearby refineries. It’s not the most dramatic roadside landmark you’ll come across in America, but it’s worth a stop if nearby. The two Lewis & Clark Towers, when traveling by car, are located fourteen minutes (and several decades) apart.

Even people who dined at the old Rizzo’s Top of Tower Restaurant at the Lewis & Clark sometimes get one thing wrong about the restaurant: It did not spin. That distinction belonged to the Stouffer’s Top of the Riverfront, which revolved on the 30th floor of what would eventually become the Millennium Hotel downtown. The 80-minute revolution of the windowed dining area was a huge hit for families and visitors, especially during the ’70s and ’80s. Its existence has often been conflated with that of north county’s own high-up restaurant. This can likely be pinned to the name of Top of Tower’s most popular item, Spinning Salad, which is still mourned in contemporary media and message boards. Though Rizzo’s salad was spun, the home of it did not.

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January 19, 2022

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