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Willis Tower

Willis Tower, formerly the Sears Tower, Chicago, the tallest building in the United States. Until the opening of the 1,483-ft (452-m) Petronas Towers (1997) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, it was the world's tallest building. Constructed from 1970 to 1974 for Sears, Roebuck & Co., it rises 110 stories to a height of 1,450 ft (442 m); the 253 ft (77 m) television antenna topping it makes it the world's third largest freestanding structure at 1,703 ft (519 m). Designed by the firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, the building is supported structurally by square tubes of welded steel with floors suspended within the tubes, a technological innovation that was developed specifically for the mammoth skyscraper by architectural engineer Fazlur Kahn. The tower has an exterior of black aluminum and bronze-toned glass cut by black bands. It was renamed in 2009.

Read more: Willis Tower Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/us/willistower.html#ixzz2KX58BhDL

Willis Tower is strategically located on Wacker Drive in the heart of the West Loop, Chicagos premier
submarket and home to its largest corporations and commuter rail stations. Completed in early 1973, Willis Tower is an attractive and contemporary 110-story trophy office tower consisting of steel columns and beams in a mega-module system. The building contains approximately 3.8 million rentable square feet (RSF) including approximately 159,000 RSF of retail space. The Property also features a 160-car executive parking garage accessible from Franklin Street. Other amenities include a world-class broadcast platform, tallest skydeck, full-service conference center, fitness facility, and exceptional technology features. Completed May 3, 1973, Willis Tower rises to a height to 1,450 feet and is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the Chicago skyline and in the world. The building held the record for the worlds tallest building for 25 years until the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia were built in 1998. In 1982, the antennas added to the building increased its total height to 1,704 feet. In 2000, one of the buildings antennas was extended to 1,729 feet, making it the worlds tallest building to the tip of its antenna. The building held this title until early 2009 when Burj Dubai topped out at over 2,600 feet, making it the tallest man-made structure ever built. Designed by the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill for Sears, Roebuck & Company, the worlds largest retailer at the time, the 3.8 million RSF building is the preeminent office address in Chicago and one of the premier properties in the world. The Willis Tower provides an exceptional West Loop location, unparalleled views from all of the propertys highly efficient floors and unmatched prestige.

Superior Telecommunications
State-of-the-art broadcast facilities on the rooftop, which allows for 100% of digital TV requirements for the Chicago area broadcast market. Access for multiple competitive local exchange carriers (CLECS). Expansive telecommunications risers.

Modern Elevator Technology

104-car elevator system divided into three zones for efficient transportation. High speed elevators with superior ride quality.

Floor Flexibility
Four distinct floor plates divided into 75-foot column free squares. Floors contain under floor duct system for power and communication.

Electrical Capacity/Backup
Four 150 MVA transformers which supply a 13.2 KV distribution system with redundant capability between two separate risers servicing the building.

Two 2100KW diesel powered emergency generators

Antenna Facts: East Antenna 253' tall West Antenna 283' tall 12' diameter at base. On top of each antenna there is a TLD (Tuned Liquid Dampener). Its purpose is to counteract the sway of the antenna from the wind. The airplane warning lamps blink 40 times per minute. The night intensity level drops to one quarter of the daytime level at dusk. Antenna Lighting: March May July St.Patrick's Day Mother's Day 4th of July Green Pink Red and Blue

October December

Halloween Holidays

Orange Red & Green

If you are interested in learning more about lighting the antennas with your organization's colors, please contact 312-875-0066

Fire/Life Safety Willis Tower has one of the most complete life safety systems ever devised for a
high-rise building. All steel is fireproofed. Automatic sprinklers cover each of the 4.5 million gross square feet of space. Duct-mounted smoke detectors are designed to pinpoint the source of the smoke and a computer-activated system will exhaust the smoke from affected areas. The self-contained backup emergency power supply supports the alarm system, fire pumps, communication system, emergency lighting and select elevators in the event of an electrical failure. More info...

Fire Sprinklers The building is protected throughout by automatic sprinklers.

The Lower Level South and North Loading Docks, Level 1A parking garage and Sky Deck entrance are protected by dry-pipe sprinkler systems.

More info... Fire Pumps The sprinkler and standpipe systems are supplied by ten fire pumps. The fire pumps, manufactured by Peerless, have capacities of 500, 1,000, or 1,500 gallons per minute. Fire Extinguishers Fire extinguishers are installed throughout the Property.

Willis Tower

Former names

Sears Tower (1973-2009)

Record height

Tallest in the world from 1973 to 1998[I]

Preceded by

One World Trade Center(1971)

Surpassed by

Petronas Twin Towers

General information


Office, observation, communication


233 S. Wacker Drive Chicago, Illinois 60606 United States


415244N 873809WCoordinates: 415244N 873809W

Construction started Completed


1973 Height

Architectural Tip Top floor

442.1 m (1,450 ft)[1] 527 m (1,729 ft)[1] 412.7 m (1,354 ft)[1] Technical details

Floor count Floor area Lifts/elevators

108[2] (+3 basement floors) 416,000 m2(4,477,800 sq ft)[1] 104,[1] with 16 double-decker elevators, made byWestinghouse, modernized by Schindler Group Design and construction


Skidmore, Owings and Merrill[1] (Fazlur Khan &Bruce Graham)

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