Also known as Willis Tower, the Sears Tower is one of the tallest skyscrapers of Chicago. Measuring 442 meters, the tower includes 108 floors, and is the 2nd tallest building in the US. A major tourist destination, Sears Tower receives more than one million visitors during one year. Opened to public on June 22, 1974, the Sears Tower observation deck, also known as the Skydeck, is situated on the 103rd floor. Located 412 meters above the ground, the deck has become a popular watch over point for tourists. You can experience how the structure sways when it blows hard in the city. You can also see much farther over the Illinois plains and across the Lake Michigan. Take an elevator, which takes not more than sixty seconds to reach the deck.
Sears Tower - Highlights
The tower's watch over point faces direct competition from the John Hancock Center's observational floor, which is about one mile away. More than 1.3 million tourists visit the Skydeck every year. In case 103rd floor is inaccessible due to maintenance purpose, the 99th floor is opened to general public to have a view of the city. Tourist entrance is on the southern side of the tower along the Jackson Boulevard. The tower underwent a major renovation in the beginning of 2009. The building owners planned to install retractable glass balconies at the 103rd floor. The highly toughened glass balconies extend about four feet over the Wacker Drive. The all made of glass boxes enables tourists to see through the floor on the street 412 meters below. A popular hotspot, the glass balconies can handle about 4.5 metric tonnes of weight.
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