The Skywalk Observatory sort of took over after it was decided that tourists would no longer be allowed to visit John Hancock Tower. I'm not a big observatory fan so I wasn't too sure about going up Prudential Tower to the Skywalk Observatory but I'm really glad I did! Not only is the view breathtaking but the audio guide that describes different historic or cultural Boston scenes as you move from one window to the next is very interesting and informative. There even is a kiddy version of the guide if you happen to be traveling with your little ones!
"Shhh... we're gonna get kicked out!", I whisper to my companion. Tears of laughter are streaming down my face. The film being shown in this little room is one of the most demented and indescribable things I've ever seen and I'm barely keeping it together. Holograms of faces occasionally appear on the theatre walls while on the main screen Benjamin Franklin walks through a modern city dodging cars. The movie ends with a refugee from Asia, now an American citizen, giving us a big smile and wave. "What the hell was that? Was the director on acid?", we both ask. I slowly begin to regain composure as we exit the theatre.
Only when I walk a few more steps and come across a display of two televisions showing a white guy and a black guy dressed in judges robes singing a "Liberty rap", I start laughing again! Cripes, my cheeks hurt.
The "Skywalk" is an observation deck located on the 50th floor of the Prudential Tower. It offers a fantastic 360 degree view of Boston. At the time of the tower's completion in 1964, it was the tallest building in North America outside of New York. It's known to locals simply as "the Pru".
And we came at just the right time of day, during sunset. It's great for taking photos!
At the Skywalk entrance, the ticket people gave me a handheld audio tour device. You punch in a number of the window you are standing at and it tells some really fascinating stories about the buildings you are looking at and the people that inhabited them. Some stories are for children, others are for adults. The device often crackles and fades out, leaving me in suspense as to how a tale ends.
Along the inside wall are photos, displays, and exhibits detailing some of Boston's history and the history of immigration to the city.
Open hours vary depending on the time of year, check their web site for details. You can buy the reasonably priced tickets for the Skywalk at a ground level kiosk or, if that's closed, on the 50th floor itself.
Do not miss: The crazy film they show in the "Skywalk Theater".
The Prudential Center is a shopping mall that has over 75 stores, food court and various chain restaurants such as The Cheesecake Factory, Legal Sea Foods and California Pizza Kitchen.
My wife and I took some time to wander the Mall and do some shopping. The MAll has the typical stores that can be found any where in the country such as Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue.
The Prudential Sky Walk is on the 50th floor of the Prudential building. For $9.50 you get a digital recording that you play & pause at various points of interest all around the building. The view is very good. You can see the harbor & islands, the airport and all of downtown Boston, Cambridge and beyond. It's very pretty either during the day or at night. We were lucky and also saw a falcon a couple of times, perching on a ledge just outside the window.
The John Hancock Tower is closed to visitors at the moment (fear of terrorism). But don't worry, Boston's second tallest skyscraper, at 229m, with 52 floors, is open until 10pm, seven days a week. Downstairs there are over 75 shops and restaurants. I highly reccomend a visit to the "Skywalk" on the 50th floor for $10.50, which is the highest observation deck in . Its not too cheap but well worth it for the 360 degree views of Boston. An audio tour is available to show you the sights of Boston for those interested. he queues are short and it is easy to reach, in the center of Boston. It's best after dark, when the lights are spectacular.
Prudential Center Sky Walk
Although not at the very top of the Prudential Tower (that honor is reserved for the Top of the Hub restaurant), when the Prudential Center opened in 1965 with its 52 stories, it was the city's tallest building until the 60-story Hancock tower was completed 11 years later. The building features 10 acres of glass curtain walls and 4,000 windows. While the tower itself is mostly used for office space, it is also part of a complex that includes almost 50 shops and several restaurants. The 'Pru' center is also home to several apartment buildings, and is connected to the Hynes Convention Center and the Sheraton Boston Hotel.
Going to the top of the Prudential. It's the highest building in Boston now. You can see a lot and it's really pretty. It's not the TOP. It's one floor below the top, there's a restaraunt on the top floor, it's called top of the hub.
Biju (VT member Zack01) and I made this our first stop on my trip to Boston. We went up to the 50th floor skywalk and were able to get great 360 degree views of the city. The admission to the skywalk is $7 and you'll have to sign in with security when you enter the building.
The largest office and retail complex in the region, the Prudential Center, or 'da Pru', as it is known by Bostonians, is a major feature in Boston's skyline. Although its central 52-storey building is a rather ugly skyscraper, the complex itself holds a beautiful airy mall with upscale shops and restaurants like Marche Movenpick. Although it's mostly seen for its mall, which is basically like most American malls, the Pru does have an interesting observation deck that's free (compared to the $6 charged at the Hancock across Copley Square).
We really enjoyed visiting the observatory and found it to be good value at about 12 dollars each. You travel up a high speed lift about 52 floors. The skywalk tour gives you great views of Boston. You get a handset and punch in the numbers listed on the windows to get the audio tour - there is an adult and a child version but I listened to both. There are various activities around the floor focusing on immigration and sport and lots ofi other city information. There is also a film show included in the price. It wasn't very busy when we visitied (February) so we had great unimpeded views - it was so quiet that the receptionist was knitting.
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