It might have lost the world’s tallest building slot
to Taipei 101 Tower in Taiwan, thanks to its enormous spire, but Sears
Tower is still the tallest if measuring the height from ground to roof –
a staggering 1,450 ft (442 m). Designed by Chicago firm Skidmore,
Owings & Merrill, the tower uses nine exterior frame tubes, avoiding
the need for interior supports. On a windy day, workers on higher
levels can feel the building sway and hear squeaking noises: you might
experience the same thing from the 103rd-floor Skydeck, where on a good
day, the 360-degree views – the main draw for visitors – are awesome.
The tower has eight restaurants to choose from ().
Take an audio Sky Tour to get “inside” information on Chicago at the Skydeck’s 16 viewing points.
Check visibility levels at the security desk before you wait in line for the Skydeck.
Top 10 Views
John Hancock Center
Sears Tower’s North Side counterpart is this 100-story skyscraper. It
houses a retail area, offices, and apartments – as well as an open-air
observatory on the 94th floor.
Built entirely on landfill following the Great Chicago Fire this 200-acre (81-ha) park is the city’s largest and the site of summer music festivals .
Home to the Chicago Bears
football team for over 30 years, the 1924-built lakeside stadium
recently saw the addition of a controversial 63,000-seat structure.
Critics have likened it to a padded toilet seat.
A former naval base turned fun-filled Mecca, this is Chicago’s leading attraction .
vast indoor sports arena and concert venue is also known as ‘the house
that Michael built,’ as it was Michael Jordan’s fame that attracted the
money to fund it. Outside the center there’s a statue of the
now-retired, but ever-popular, basketball player.
built in 1964, these distinctive 60-story buildings (nicknamed the
corncobs), were both the tallest residential and the tallest concrete
structures in the world .
The largest (in floor area) commercial building in the world, this 1930-built structure covers two blocks and was run by the Kennedy family until the late 1990s ).
first convention center opened here in 1960 but burned down seven years
later. Helmut Jahn built the second in 1971 at twice the size with
40,000 sprinkler heads. Three buildings now make up this complex, and
are connected by a shop-lined promenade.
is the third largest of the five Great Lakes. Water temperatures
struggle to hit tepid during summer, but many beach-goers swim
nevertheless. On a clear day, you can often see across to the shores of
Indiana and Michigan.
156-mile (251-km) long river tops world records with its 52 opening
bridges. An extraordinary engineering feat resulted in the reversal of the river flow in 1900. Every St. Patrick’s day the main branch is dyed green.
Top 10 Tower Facts
The tower took three years to construct
Building costs topped $150 million
It contains 2,000 miles (3,220 km) of electric cables…
… And 25,000 miles (40,233 km) of piping
25,000 people enter and exit each day
1.5 million people visit the Skydeck each year
The elevators travel at 1,600 ft (490 m) per minute
Six automatic machines wash its 16,100 windows