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360 Chicago Observation Deck (formerly John Hancock Observatory) Admission
"With your admission to the 360 Chicago (John Hancock Observatory) step off Michigan Avenue and into a high-powered elevator that will take you on an exhilarating ride to the 94th floor at a speed of 20.5 mph (33 kph). The observatory provides unbeatable views of Chicago at all times of the day: Go in the morning or aft go at sunset for a romantic moment or go at night when the city becomes a sea of twinkling lights.More than just the tip of a tall building the 360 Chicago (John Hancock Observatory) offers several activities to complement the pretty view. Explore Chicago through the best technologies such as interactive screens that allow you to zoom in and out of famous locations across the city and test y head to the observatory’s Architect's Corner where you can take a break with an Italian coffees
From $20.00
360 Chicago Observation Deck (formerly John Hancock Observatory) Admission with Prosecco
"Hand in your ticket when you arrive at the centrally located 360 Chicago (John Hancock Observatory) and receive a voucher for your half-bottle of Italian Prosecco. Step into an elevator that will whisk you up to the 94th floor at a speed of 20.5 mph (33 kph). At the Architect's Corner present your voucher to receive your Prosecco and two glasses. Take your time drinking your bubbly while admiring 360-degree views of Chicago from the floor-to-ceiling windows. Appreciate the majesty of the buildings all around you in the daytime and delight in a sea of glittering city lights at night. See Chicago landmarks including the expansive Lake Michigan; the vibrant Magnificent Mile with its many shops and bars; Navy Pier the city's most-visited tourist attraction; and another famous Chicago skyscraper Willis (Sears) Tower. Make sure to check out the 80 foot-long (24 meter) wall with murals depicting Chicago's colorful past and have a souvenir photo taken in which you appear as a 360 Chicago (John Hancock Observatory) window washer. After you finish your Prosecco
From $68.00
Chicago Grand Tour and Admission to 360 Chicago (formerly John Hancock Observatory)
"Explore Chicago’s North Side and South Side on this comprehensive guided city tour! See Chicago’s highlights and visit the impressive 360 Chicago (John Hancock Observatory) for magnificent views of the Windy City! Take a narrated coach tour with known as the ‘front lawn of the city.’ See Soldier Field the Adler Planetarium with its massive sky dome.. Pass by the world's largest aquarium the Shedd Aquarium see the Field Museum of Natural History and travel through the South Commons a new 'close- in' residential community. You'll also get to pass by President Obama's old neighborhood and see where he used to live!On the North Side
From $63.00

John Hancock Center Tips (102)

Best view in Chicago!

The John Hancock observatory and Signature Room offer among the best views in Chicago. On a clear day, the views from this skyscraper are quite breathtaking, towering over all of downtown Chicago, the Loop, the River, Navy Pier, and more. You can see many of the iconic Chicago sites from the floor-to-ceiling windows.

I think you might have to pay to actually enter the J.H. observatory, so a nice way to get the view but avoid paying an entrance fee is to order something (appetizers, drinks) at the Signature Room, on the 95th floor of the building. That way, you can get the view and some snacks!

I've been to the Signature Room twice. Once, it was a beautiful and clear day, but on my second visit, it was quite foggy. On a foggy day, it's just not quite the same...

Lizchiq's Profile Photo
Oct 26, 2008

Hancock Observatory: 360 Degree Views of Chicago

The John Hancock building is located North of the Chicago river. At the top is the Hancock Observatory that gives outstanding 360 degree views of the city. The skywalk is located 94 stories up and is open air. Although it's open air there is no chance of falling, rails and screens are in place to prevent that. Should it be cold outside, you can opt to skip the skywalk part and still enjoy the 360 degree views from inside. There are lots of signs inside that point out landmarks and let you know a little about the history of what you are looking at.

It was a great quick stop on our touring and really gave an excellent aerial view of Chicago.

MatthewMetcalfe's Profile Photo
Oct 22, 2008

For a great view of downtown Chicago

The 100-story John Hancock Center was completed in 1969 and at 344 m tall, it is currently the third highest building in Chicago. The Hancock Observatory is located on the 94th floor of the building and offers a great view of downtown Chicago. At $15, tickets are a bit more expensive than those at the more popular Sears Tower's Skydeck, but it's usually less crowded (there was no line-up at all when I showed up). The elevator ride to the observatory lasts 40 seconds, and there's a funny pre-recorded message that helps take your mind off the fact that you're traveling at 32 km/h. Once you reach the Observatory, you can walk around the floor to take pictures, although I was a bit disappointed to find out that it's nearly impossible to take pictures on the skywalk, the only portion of the floor that is screened. Everywhere else there are windows, which makes taking night pics quite difficult if you've got an automatic camera like mine. The good news is that for an extra $3, your ticket can give you access to the Observatory the next day if you want to take both day and night shots. Another nice feature of the Observatory is that there is some interesting information about the history of Chicago along the walls, as well as a souvenir store.

The Hancock Observatory is open every day from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm.

Jefie's Profile Photo
Oct 13, 2008

Check out the view from the John Hancock tower

I really enjoyed my little excursion to the top of the John Hancock Center! After attending a technical session on the opening day of the IEEE convention, there was nothing on for me in the afternoon so I took a shuttle back to my hotel and then quickly walked north to where this 3rd tallest of Chicago's skyscrapers is located.

Having read that it can be cheaper as well as more enjoyable to skip the 94th floor observation deck in favour of the 96th floor Signature Lounge cocktail bar, I marched through the lobby to the special elevators that will whisk you straight to the top! Another gentleman turned up as well, just before the elevator arrived, so I hit the Signature Room button and off we went. However, on the short journey up I realized that would take me to the 95th floor restaurant, so I also punched the button for the Signature Lounge. The gentleman asked me if that was where the good views were and I said it was - being the big expert! We chatted a bit as we continued upward, turned out he was from France and had been teaching history in Quebec, so I asked him to join me for a beer while we enjoyed the views from our window seat in the Lounge.

We had a great spot looking out toward the south where all the major skyscrapers are located and also took a stroll to the north side where we saw the Oak Street Beach along Lake Michigan's shore (2nd photo) as well as looked down onto the 871-foot 66 story Bloomingdale's skyscraper (3rd photo). The service in the Lounge was very fast and friendly as we relaxed in plush seating, sipping on Guinness and Heiniken beers as we discussed quite a number of things. It was a great way to spend an hour or so and the beer wasn't all that expensive either at $9 - especially since it costs $12 just to get into the Observation Deck!

Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
Sep 12, 2008
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John Hancock Observatory

If you buy city pass, you gotta choose between John Hancock Observatory and Sears Tower.
If you want to go both, here's a good way:
Use the city pass to go to Sears Tower and enjoy a dinner during sunset at the restaurant in John Hancock Tower.

bladedragon's Profile Photo
Aug 22, 2008

The Hancock Observatory

We were looking forward to a magnificant lunch at the Signature Restaurant at the top of the Hancock Building. However, we enjoyed the spectacular views from the Hancock Observatory instead. The audio tape gave a good background of what we were looking at.

The 100 - story building, completed in 1969, has a remarkable design, with the huge X-braces serving both a structural and visual purpose.

apbeaches's Profile Photo
Jul 28, 2008

Very solidly built

According to Wikipedia, the 100-story John Hancock Center is 1,127-feet (344 m) tall, making it the 3rd tallest building in Chicago and fifth the United States. If you count its two large communications antennae, its height tops out at 1,500-feet. When it was completed in 1969, before the days of rampant 'I can build mine taller than yours', it was the world's tallest building outside of New York City. Today, the building houses offices, restaurants and the world's highest condominiums.

I made special note of the heavily reinforced look of its exterior (2nd and 3rd photos), with X-braces climbing up the side of the building to give it extra structural strength. I still remember the problems the John Hancock Insurance Company had with its 60-story all-glass exterior tower built in Boston in 1976. Whenever the winds exceeded 45-mph, large 4x11-ft panes of glass weighing 500-lbs had a nasty habit of popping out to fall hundreds of feet to the sidewalks below! Another little problem was the tendency of the top floors to sway in the wind giving that motion sickness feeling to their tenants. While investigating these various problems, it was also discovered that a certain type of wind shear could cause the entire structure to fall over. In the end, the glass panes all had to be replaced with stronger types, two 300-ton mass-dampers had to be installed on the 58th floor to counteract the forces of the wind and steel cross-braces similar to these exterior ones in Chicago had to be added to reinforce the frame of the building. Altogether, it was an architectural nightmare that cost the company more than a $100 million to fix.

Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
May 11, 2008

The Hancock! BOOYAA

Providing arguably better views and smaller lines certainly than Sears tower, this should be at the top of your to do list. Insiders tip is to wait in line to be seated at Signatures, the bar at the 95 floor, so for around 8 dollers, you get a drink AND the great views to snap away at. I think its a no brainer.

You can get the view of the buildings that gains insight into the designers vision, as you see the penitentiary, which is in the shape of a triangle for each of checking the inmates in one round, the gold gilded Carbon and Carbide tower, the Sears Tower of course!, and countless others. My favourite was one i cant describe lol. But have fun choosing your favourite.

at the base is the historical Water tower which is the sole survivor from the great fire, and ralph lauran Store, which is must see inside; it has so much oak furniture and antiquiteies from haughty English class, and Fox hunting , polo playing chaps. lol

seasonedveteran's Profile Photo
Mar 29, 2008
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"The place I call home"
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"Captivating City of "The Big Shoulders": Chicago"
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"Never A Lovely So Real"
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"Chicago - My Favorite City in the United States!"
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The New Hancock Observatory

The Hancock Observatory offers the best view in Chicago, including that from the somewhat taller Sears Tower. Looking down - and out - from 1, 000 feet up is simply mezmerising, On a clear day one can see for eighty miles and into four states. More than just a pretty view, we found our visit to the observatory to be an unforgetable experience.

Open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo
Dec 13, 2007

Head to the Signature Room instead

Here is a tip: if you want to have great views of Chicago from the Hancock tower/building, just head straight to the Signature Room instead of the observatory. You can beat the lines and instead of paying $10, pay $12 for a good Martini and great views of Chicago. Go here anyday from 11am to midnight and you can not ask for a better view of the city! Check out their website for more information:

monica71's Profile Photo
Sep 17, 2007

John Hancock Center

Build in 1965 - 1969 with the height of 344,0m with 100 floors.Highest multifunctional skyscraper in the world.Tallest Chicago building from 1968 until 1973.
The John Hancock Center is one of Chicago's most well-known buildings. It is the 12th tallest building in the world with 100 floors, including apartments, offices, shops, a hotel, an ice rink, restaurants, its own post office, and radio and television facilities. The observation deck is a top attraction for visitors. The famous Signature Room restaurant is located on the 95th & 96th floors.Which I have the chance to eat there. The John Hancock Center was completed in 1969 and features a tapered design for structural and space efficiency.

traveloturc's Profile Photo
Aug 06, 2007

A Great Trip to the Top of the John Hancock

We recently returned from our trip to Chicago and had a wonderful time at the John Hancock Observatory. The day was perfect! The views were wonderful! We went on a Wednesday at around 2PM and there was only about 3 people in line ahead of us. I did not go to the Sears Tower so I cannot complain but it seems that the Hancock is in a better location to offer the best view. I am so glad to have chose the Hancock.

sabogg01's Profile Photo
Aug 04, 2007

Things to Do Near John Hancock Center

Things to Do

Signature Lounge-Hancock

Rosie [rozehill] and I went to the Hancock Building, but we did not wish to pay $13.00 for a view of the city. Instead, we rode the rapid elevator to the 96th floor (note that the observation deck for...
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Things to Do

Water Tower

The Chicago Water Tower is a contributing property in the Old Chicago Water Tower District landmark district. This tower was constructed to house a large water pump, intended to draw water from the...
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Things to Do

Fourth Presbyterian Church

This is an historic church in Chicago, built in Gothic Revival style in 1912. It serves a congregraiton founded in 1871. It is an interesting as well as peaceful place to relax in the church itself...
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Things to Do

Chicago Food Planet

Chicago Food Planet specializes in food tours in Chicago's Near North and Bucktown/Wicker Park neighborhoods. The guides are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the city! The tours last about three...
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Things to Do

Museum of Contemporary Art

Recently,I returned to this art museum that emphasizes temporary art exhibits.I saw an excellent array of Alexander Calder mobiles,a fine group of Marisol creations,several fine Andy Warhol...
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Things to Do

Oak Street Beach

One of the really nice places to go to enjoy a great view of Lake Michigan is Oak Street Beach. I wasn't too sure at first about walking through the dark pedway that goes underneath Lake Shore Drive...
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Getting to John Hancock Center


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