Visit the observation platform at Sears Tower/ now Willis Tower (starting with July 16, 2009). The building is 110 storeys above ground.
There is a wonderful view of the city and neighborhood from the observation platform here.
We were surprised by the quick and effective elevator and the wonderful views from the observation platform.
We only had to stand a big line before riding up the platform.
I am sorry my only picture of the city that I made at the observation platform did not come out well...
The former Sears Tower is 442 meters high, with the spire - 527 meters.
It used to be the world's highest building (from 1973 till 1998) until the famous Petronas was built in Malaysia.
When it was built, Willis Tower was the tallest skyscraper in the world. It still lays claim to that title, being as its extended radio masts stretch up higher than any other building, but officially the Taipei 101 building has sneaked into the lead. Willis Tower does, however, at 412 m (1,353 ft) up, have the highest observation deck of any other skyscraper, and it remains the tallest skyscraper in the Americas, and the tallest building in the US.
All those titles are the main reason for visiting Willis Tower. It's not a particularly beautiful building. Its architects came up with its design when looking at a popped packet of cigarettes, and seeing how each cigarette gave the higher cigarettes support. The result was a staggered black monolith that stretches up literally into the clouds. It is a massive building, it was a massive undertaking. It was also a massive failure. Sears built it hoping it would spark a huge demand for real estate, but it never happened.
Its fame also attracts the crowds. It wasn't a particularly nice day when I went up. In fact it had started to rain just as I entered. Despite this the queues were unbelievable. I was warned of an hour wait just to get into the lift. There were so many people trying to get in that my entire experience of the Willis Tower became one long queue. Even at the observation deck, I made my way around the top taking pictures... while standing in the queue to get out.
If you want to save some time queuing: book online before you go. This should get you past at least the first queue, for the tickets, but you will still have to queue for the lifts both up and down. It could save you about 15-30 minutes.
I went to the observation deck I think it was '73-'74, When it was free ! There was quite a bit to look at(w/o my wifes' approval) The Playboy Mansion was quite visible to us(no screens yet), It was really interesting to see all the states 3 I think....................................................... The second time I went was a few years later & was happy to see this place was no longer X rated ! LOL !........ 3rd time I was there they charged, Not necessarily for the Observation deck, But for the elevator ride to get there! When I got there it had become Commercial, everything was 4-sale ! Let's hope the new owners change this trend around! Il.tends to charge for everything! The toll road was supposed to be temporary, BS that didn't & won't happen !
Please give us somewhere to go that don't cost us an arm or a leg ! Like when WE were young !
I'll always know this as the Sear Tower but it is now the Willis Tower, the tallest building in Chicago and, since it was built up through 2013 the tallest building in the US and North America. However, a new building in New York City is, as of October 2013, nearing completion and is now surpassing it. In any case, it is still impressive and the Sky Deck at the top both fabulous for the views and famous for its height as well as its Skyboxes, boxes of glass projecting off the side over the street, to afford incredible views. This is one of the most-see sights in the city, and for us, in fact, in the US, at least as right now.
The Willis Tower " formerly the Sears Tower is definately the most prominent building on the Chicago Skyline.. standing at 1450 feet high ( 442 meters ) This is the tallest building in the whole of the country..To be a street level and look up at this building is awesome to say the least. The Chicago skyline would have to be one of the most impressive skylines in the world and is noted for its revolutionary styles of architecture by many of the worlds famous architects works built and displayed here. This partIcular structure stands out above all ..
A visit to this building was high on my list of "to do's" while in Chicago and go to the skydeck at the top. I am told that the views from the skydeck are truly awe inspiring. Be prepared for a long wait though before you get to the top as there was hundreds of visitors on the day I was there ..probably more than usual ..it was mid summer...and a very clear day but was told that the huge crowds were normal..So its queues and security checks ..pay entry fee..and more queues.. The lift (elevator ) ride to the top is amazingly fast and I must say that I was quite surprised how fast it was ...arriving at the top there is a lot of room for the crowds of visitors to view the city and as it was a clear day the visability was to the horizon..There were so many places to take photographs from all sides..One of the main attraction was the glass box that you can walk into that juts out of the side of the building...not good if you suffer from vertigo...The different city views to be seen from this skydeck are absolutly outstanding. There are many informative signs and posters on the walls of the skydeck with historical information on Chicago..There is also a souvenir shop that sells everything that you can imagine.
This was a very interesting place to visit.I was in no way dissapointed..
The Sears tower was so much fun! The only thing we were having problems with were the hundreds of other people bumping you or walking in front of you as you are taking a picture. They have these glass window boxes where you can walk out on them and look down (Super Scary) and everytime you step in one to take a quick photo a tourist would jump in with you and walk around. It was a tad bit irritating so if you are anything like me try your hardest to go while its slow.
Adult is $18
Child is $12
But so worth it!
The tallest building in the Western Hemisphere at 110 stories high - in fact it was the world’s tallest for 24 years – is Willis Tower (it used to be called Sears Tower but changed its name in 2009 when a London-based insurance broker obtained the naming rights. Not a popular move, by most accounts). Here you can shoot up 103 floors or 1,451ft high in elevators that are among the fastest in the world operating as fast as 1,600 feet per minute up to the skydeck that has recently had transparent ledges bolted on that extend 4ft outside the deck, from here you can see the ground beneath your feet. Four states are visible from the Skydeck; Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.
See My Travelogue for more photos from my visit.
April 1 to September 30
9:00 am to 10:00 pm
October 1 to March 31
10:00 am to 8:00 pm
Children (Ages 3-11): $11.00
When is the best time to visit the observation deck on the 103rd floor of the Willis tower? The best time is late afternoon, exactly when depends on the time of year. Then stay up there for a couple of hours. That way, you get to see the spectacular view in daytime, sunset and night time. It really is amazing, and saves you having to make three different trips. To make sure you can make it in in time to see all three views, pre-book a ticket, so you can skip the lines and go straight in at late afternoon! you wouldn't want to miss one of the three views because you are in line!
Oh yeah, every city has that big tall thing. For a chunk of your 401 they'll herd you into an elevator with a perky attendant and a kajillion other bodies you'll be fighting with for window space. For another chunk of your 401 they'll take your picture, and you'll hand over anything left for tchotchkes you'll hate the minute you get home.
Yep, this is one of those places but with an interesting twist: you can take in Chicago's skyline from a glass-floored cube that extends 4 feet outside the building and 1,353 feet above the ground: a real bird's-eye view. Big deal, you say? I did too - until it was my turn in the thing and my knees rattled so badly I almost had to crawl.
Skydeck/The Ledge is on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower and was an option our CityPASSes. A line-skipping ticket on its own was a staggering $35 - nearly 1/2 the cost of the 5-attraction pass - so they really paid off here. It goes without saying that the best time to do this is on a clear day, and the sunset hour is supposed to be impressive.
My third photo is from the Hancock Observatory with the Willis Tower in the distance.
No trip to Chicago is complete without a trip to the top of the SEARS TOWER Skydeck, one of the highest observation decks of any building in the world. The Tower is 110 stories high and the observation deck with spectacular views of Chicago, is located on the 103 floor.
Prices as of August, 2006
Adult 12 - 64 $11.95
Seniors 65 + $9.95
Youth 3 - 11 $8.50
Children under 3 Free
standing at 1450 feet and 110 stories high, it was named the world's tallest building until 1996 when it was surpassed by the Petronas building in Kuala Lumpur. But it still holds 3 of the world's tallest title: tallest building including the antenna, highest occuppied floor, and highest roof. On a clear day from the Skydeck observatory (103rd floor) one can see the states of Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan. The Sears Tower is so high, a phone call from the top to ground floor is considered long distance! ticket prices $9.95 each, includes a 30minute show about Chicago, its humble beginnings and how it came to be one of the most successful cities in the world.
The skydeck is at the 103rd floor of the Sears Tower. This is where visitors go to experience the bird's eye view of Chicago and its neighboring states namely Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. Tickets are $9.95 for adults with discounts for kids and seniors. Children below 3 years go for free. The skydeck also features exhibits about what makes Chicago... Chicago