Just kidding, well sort of. Panes of glass once fell from the tower, but nobody got hurt. It took engineers years to fix the problem. This is a beautiful building and definately worth a picture of two.
One can't walk through Copley Square without noticing The John Hancock Tower. I believe its the tallest building in New England. From just about everywhere in Boston you can see one view or another of this glorious building. I took this pic of the building back in 1995, during the summer. My friend Tim had been taking me around Boston showing me some sites I missed during my 4 year stay. After posing for a few shots for Tim I looked up and saw the view and just had to snap a pic or 2. One of my favorite pics of the Tower is one my Christian Science Center. The day I took the main pic, Tim and I went to the top of the building. The view was amazing. I was sad to learn that in 2001 they closed the observation deck. To get a great view of Boston from above, try the Prudential building. The tower is made up of over 10,000 glass panels and was designed by the infamous I.M. Pei with construction finishing in 1975 and opening in 1976.
The John Hancock Tower offers several onsite amenities to its customers and guests including:
Blue Glass Café and Catering Service now featuring seasonal outdoor seating
Private underground parking garage
Parking at 100 Clarendon Street Garage
Access to the BSC fitness center located at 197 Clarendon Street
Martin’s News Shop
Thursday concert series
FedEx, UPS and USPS drop boxes
Three bank branch ATM’s
Delivery shoe shine service
24 hour security assistance
Opposite Trinity Church this all glass tower stands out on the Skyline and is famous for the reflection of Trinty Church in its glass panes. Soon after the tower was built there was a huge problem on hot days due to expansion some glass panes fell off the walls hurtling to the footpath below. Extremely dangerous, much money was spent in finding a solution to this problem and it is now safe to walk next to the building.
This beautiful building can be seen from all over Boston. It is 60 stories (790 ft) high & its exterior is covered in shiny blue mirrored glass. This provides amazing reflections of the sunlight & surrounding buildings.
When I visited in 91 there were spectacular views from the observation deck. I'm not sure, but I think that since Sept 11th this is closed to the public.
I was there in the early 1980's so I dont know if its still there. But a trip to the top of the Hancock Tower is a must. Back then they had a nice show of the Boston history (tea party, revolution, etc).
I learned more from that than I ever did in school.
Even if its not there anymore, the view is worth the trip.
Unfortunately the phenomenal observation deck at Hancock Tower, the highest vantage point in Boston, and the absolute best place from which to view the city and surroundings, has been permanently closed to the public since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
For the next best choice, try the Prudential Tower.
The John Hancock Tower is the tallest building in New England, and stands sleekly on its own in Copley Square, away from the high-rise area of Boston's downtown.
Despite is enormity in its local area, its presence is made less overpowering by its pure, crystal-like geometry and reflecting glass skin. The dominant view when you are close to the building is of the nearby historical buildings reflected with subtle distortions of color and shape in the Hancock Tower's glass.
The glass skin suffered massive technical problems when first built: many of the 10,000 windows habitually fell out, as the building responded to the pressures of wind and changing heat. Solutions to this problem included installing a network of 10,000 sensors stuck on each window, giving a special control room early warning of when a window's vibration suggested it might be next to go. Not a story to remember when you're standing next to the floor-to-ceiling windows on the (now closed) 60th floor observation deck.
With its windows now securely in place, the Hancock Tower has regained its purity and elegance - especially on a sunny day when it appears almost transparent against a deep blue sky.
Height (struct.) 241 m 790 ft
Floors (OG) 60
Construction end 1976
Following the events of 9/11, the 60th floor observatory of John Hancock Tower has been closed. However, it's still worth a trip to Copley Square to admire this massive glass tower built in 1972. With its 60 floors and 10,344 mirror windows reflecting its surroundings, the modernity of Hancock Tower somehow succeeds in fitting in with the 19th century buildings of Copley Square. Truly an architectural masterpiece (well, except for some of its windows that fell off but they've solved that problem!).
The John Hancock Tower and Observatory
This is the icon of modern Boston, designed by the world-renowned architect, I.M. Pei, who also design Boston's JFK Museum. Pei, intentionally used glass to flank the building and to reflect Trinity Church and some of the other beautiful building surrounding it.
You can go to the 60th floor observatory for great view overlooking the city.
The John Hancock Building in Boston is a 62-story, 800-foot tall skyscraper by I. M. Pei. Completed in 1976, it houses the offices of the John Hancock Life Insurance Company.
The building is renowned for its numerous engineering flaws. The worst design flaw was the attachment of its glass windows. Windows kept falling off the building until all of them were replaced. The windows are reflective. If they weren't, the building would be too hot to occupy most of the year. As it is, the air-conditioning system runs year round. During the repairs, the windows were replaced with plywood, earning it the nickname "Plywood Palace."
Since 9/11, you would imagine that architects and engineers would be more wary of building glass buildings. But think again: According to an article in the International Herald Tribune (Sept. 7, 2004) the new 7 World Trade Center is being sheathed in 538,420 square feet of glass - and that is just the beginning. Glass-clad structures are about to rise all around the site where the Twin Towers stood, using a new technology called curtain walls that will supposedly hold panes in place or limit the amount of flying debris.
Will it work? God knows...If you hang around in that area, maybe you should get yourself some John Hancock life insurance.
Well if you are in Boston, the Hancock Tower really is a "must see" whether you want to or not! At 60 Stories high, it's the tallest building in town. Not to mention the shiny blue glass exterior that reflects surrounding buildings and beautiful sunsets!
We visited this building last year to watch the fireworks on the fourth of July. It was not the ideal place for viewing. It is too far up and back from the Charles to really hear anything (I love the sound of fireworks!)
In Trinity Square is a lovely church and the Boston Public Library. Also here is the 60 storey Hancock Tower with the top floor indoor observatory. It only takes 35 seconds for the high speed elevator to get you up there but the elevator is very stable, only your ears may pop a little. Coming down it's a little bit shakey though.
At the top are visual displays and audio presentations about the view you are looking at. There isn't a 360 degree view but you can see quite a distance. There is no outdoor platforms, you are inside, behind tinted glass so if you are a bit nervous of heights, this might not be too bad. There's also a gift shop. I believe there was a fee as well to go up. great views though!
The John Hancock Tower is the center piece of Copley Plaza. In fact, along with the Prudential Tower, it has become a centerpiece for Boston as well. At 60 stories high, it's the tallest building in New England. The observatory at the top gives visitors a 360 degree view of a vast landscape. In fact, on a clear day, it's said that the mountains of New Hampshire are visible from the observatory.
Designed by I.M. Pei, the building is distinguished by its sheer glass sides. On a sunny day the it looks almost transparent. As stunning as it is beautiful, and visible almost anywhere in Boston, this architectural jewel lives up to, indeed revels in, its status as the Boston landmark.
Boston's tallest building. From most places in Boston, especially the park near Trinity Church, you can observe this tower. Boston doesn't nearly have as much skyscrapers as NYC, but this one can compete with any other.
John Hancock office tower
Designed in the early 1970s by Henry N. Cobb of I.M. Pei & Partners, and completed in 1976, the John Hancock tower is 60 stories of shiny blue glass. Stories abound about how the windows fell from their frames soon after the tower was constructed, but the problem was finally solved by replacing the building's 13 acres of glass and strengthening the building's core.
This huge skyscraper is adjacent to the Trinity Church, the Romanesque revival masterpiece designed by Henry Hobson Richardson in 1877. Their proximity was part of the controversy that originally surrounded the Hancock's design -- local critics were fearful that the new building would completely overwhelm the Trinity Church, which was considered by many to be one of Boston's main architectural jewels. In fact, Trinity Church is reflected on the Hancock's shimmering surface, making it seem even larger than it is.
A favorite photo to take--the church reflected in the building windows.
The John Hancock Tower in Boston is well worth visiting. There is a small view to go up to the observation deck but is well worth it. Here you will find the best views of Boston.
To experience the lift up to the observation deck is also worth it. This is the fastest lift I have ever been in and would not hurry to go back in. The speed made me feel quite light headed. I would next time go up the stairs even though it would probably take me all day!