I’ve been to Chicago twice, and it remains one of my top North American cities. There’s so much to see and do there: Navy Pier, Lincoln Park Zoo, go see the Cubs or the White Sox, the Field Museum, the Shed Aquarium, the Adler Planetarium… I could go on.
But my favourite thing about Chicago has to be its skyscrapers. To start with, their sheer massiveness amazes me. And they’re such a diverse range of shapes and sizes.
Perhaps predictably, my favourite of all Chicago’s skyscrapers is the Willis Tower. When I first saw it in 2003, it was still known as the Sears Tower, and to be honest that’s still how I think of it. Completed in 1974, the Sears/Willis Tower remained the tallest building in the world, until it was succeeded by Dubai’s Burj Khalifa in 2010.
On my first visit, I don’t know what impressed me most. Standing on the sidewalk, staring up at the black monolith soaring 1451 feet into the air above me? Or looking down on all the other Chicago skyscrapers from the Skydeck on its 103rd floor (out of 108)?
As is always the case with observation platforms, the only problem with the view from the Skydeck is that a crucial part of the Chicago skyline is missing… the Sears/Willis Tower itself! We solved that particular issue by also ascending to the observation deck of the John Hancock Center (now known as 360 Chicago, but previously simply called the Observatory), which itself is over 1000 feet above the ground.
I returned to Chicago in August 2009, coincidentally less than a month after the Sears Tower was renamed the Willis Tower. Yet for me, a far more exciting change to the building since my last visit was the addition of three glass boxes that jut out from the Skydeck.
I can tell you, stepping out onto the glass floors of these boxes (unofficially known as the Ledge), 1353 feet above the sidewalk, gave me a severe case of the heebeegeebees. But boy, what a view!
This post was inspired by Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, which this week is City Structures.
(Apologies for the fact the 2003 photos are scans.)
While you’re debating whether or not you could step out onto the Ledge, why not sign up and follow my continuing Journeys here at Jaspa’s Journal (on WordPress or Bloglovin’), or through my website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr?
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