Willis Tower and The Sky Deck, Chicago Illinois
In early seventies largest retailer in the world with 350,000 employed worker was the firm named Sears Roebuck and the company. This firm, needing more space built massive project that became and still remains one of tallest buildings in the world and one of the most recognizable icons of the Chicago skyline, the Willis Tower. Located in Chicago’s downtown area, this 1450 feet tall building contains 110 floors and the Sky deck, highest observation deck in the United States. From the Sky deck you can see Chicago’s Wrigley Field, Guaranteed Rate Field and far beyond.
Famous architects Skidmore, Owings and Merrill started the work in 1969. They took three years to complete using 150 million dollars, 2000 workers and enough concentrate to make an eight-line, five-mile long highway. Speaking about the numbers, Wills Tower has 1500 miles of electric wiring, 104 elevators, 43 miles of telephone cable, 145,000 light fixtures, approximately 16,100 bronze-tinted windows and it weights 222,500 tons.
Not just impressive in quantity, materials used while building the Willis Tower reveal us the prestige and the riches of the firm. Polished granite flooring, lobby’s walls of travertine with stainless steel trim and decorative ceiling lightning make the interior design stunning. In 1988 company sold the building and moved out, despite that the “Sears Tower” name remained just until recently. Building was renamed after global risk adviser insurance and reinsurance broker Wills Group Holdings.
Popular “Sky deck” is on 103rd floor. Observation point from which you can have, during a clear day, 50 miles long view on four states surrounding Chicago. It is not even necessary to mention that there is no better view on Chicago’s architecture. 1.7 million people a year get to see what it has to offer. Sky deck now offers a lot in terms of practical tourist experience. Many things can be seen inside as well. Interactive Chicago’s history and tourism presentations can been used in six different languages. Child friendly approach offers a lot of great family time.
There is just for kids section containing games, coloring pages, quizzes and etc. Family bathrooms can be found in the lower museum level. For the romantic couples best time to visit the site is just after opening of after 5pm so that they can see the sunrise or sunset. You can also have breakfast with spectacular view on the top. From Monday-Friday every working day, before the crowd appears those lucky enough can make the reservation. For those “unlucky” restaurants are also open Monday-Friday and located on Lower Level 1, Lobby Level and 2nd Floor Restaurant Levels.
Bad side of experience is security check-up. You have to be ready to stand in lines while your bags are placed in a scanner and you have to face the fear of that annoying beep sound while you are walking trough metal detector. Not to mention the looks and grumbling sound of crowd behind. After all those numbers previously mentioned, you will be surprised that Wills Tower for security reasons has only two entrances. Elevators are pretty quick so you do not have to worry about them. Expect the “wow” effect once you see the view for the first time. Do not by any circumstances visit the site if you are afraid of heights, after you step on the ledge either the fear goes away or…
Willis Tower Sky Deck
233 S Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606