May
24
2009

What is the Sears Tower?

Sears Tower - courtesy David Paul Ohmer - CC-BY

Sears Tower - courtesy David Paul Ohmer - CC-BY

The Sears Tower is a skyscraper in Chicago, Illinois. At the time it was finished in 1973 it was the tallest building in the world, surpassing the World Trade Center towers in New York City. It is the tallest building in the United States, and the fourth tallest freestanding structure in the world. In summer 2009 the building will be renamed Willis Tower, an event not without raging controversy.  With a pinnacle height of 1730 feet, it is the second tallest freestanding structure in the Americas.It is 86 feet shorter than Toronto’s CN Tower. There was a lot of discussion on whether the Petronas Towers are actually taller than the Sears Tower as the height of the antennas on the Petronas Towers are included in the total, while the height of the antennas are not included in the height calculation of the Sears tower as they are not considered an actual part of the building. With the construction of the Taipei 101 tower in 2004 this discussion became moot.  And as this video shows the Sears Tower is one of the world’s great lightening rods.

The Sears Tower was not the attraction Sears hoped it would be. The tower stood half empty for a decade as more office space was put up in Chicago in the 1980s.  Even some of those who moved in said they only did so because it was the one place in town they could look out a window and not have to see the d***** thing.

For more information about Chicago

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