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The Willis Tower

The Willis Tower , formerly the Sears Tower, is a huge tower in Chicago, Of Illinois. It measures 443 meters high and extends over 110 floors. For a quarter of a century it was considered the highest on the planet. Obviously, the tower is seen as one of the most beautiful achievements of the municipality of Chicago … according to a survey of the inhabitants of the same city!

At the outset, Sears, in full expansion after the Second World War, wanted to bring its employees together in one place in the city. A tower seemed to be the best decision. The building had to be very spacious given the number of people working at the time in the Sears Company.

The architects who designed the tower plans (Skidmore, Owings and Merrill) decided on a surface area of ​​5,000 m2 on the ground to gradually decrease in height. The starting plans were not fully respected since the final height was constantly increasing. The federal government of the air force decided to stop the construction of the tower so as not to disrupt the passage of planes, so that the skyscraper does not become an obstacle on the Air corridors in the Great Lakes region. The US state still allowed the company to add media antennas (TV and radio channels).

It was actually in 1971 that this colossal construction enterprise began. Three years will be sufficient to overcome this edification (1971-1973).

Over the years, Sears will lose its market share, will not be as prosperous as it was after the war, and will be forced to give up half of its space in the tower for more flourishing businesses. Since the rent of the walls is extremely expensive, society gradually leaves the premises.

Those who took over measure their chance to work and have their headquarters in such a prestigious and recognized place in the business world. Various sectors are represented in the skyscraper: as many insurance companies as brokers, notaries, lawyers …

Today, still in operation, the tower also welcomes visitors and tourists from all walks of life, mainly admiring the breathtaking view it offers on all of Chicago and its lake. By climbing the 103rd floor, the panorama is grand. If you plan to go there as a tourist, the entrance to the building is not the same as the one used by the skyscraper’s employees: for the visit, take the entrance that is on Jackson Boulevard .

The Willis Tower lost its supremacy in favor of Asia, at the level of its size, in 1998, when the towers of Kuala Lumpur were inaugurated in Malaysia. In 2004, it was a skyscraper from Taiwan that rose above the Willis Tower. The construction of the Willis Tower will cost more than 120 million euros. For the time, that is to say in the early 1970s, the tower was a model of technical modernity because its innovative structure always adapted and adapts to the gusts of wind that can occasionally blow in the region. Therefore, the skyscraper “moves” almost all the time a few centimeters on its base! Do we feel the movements of the tower when we are inside? This is a good question … to which you will answer yourself when you go to Chicago!