Featured

The John Hancock Building: How Tall Is It?

The Chicago Files

At this risk of becoming ridiculously dizzy, a few weeks ago I took this picture of the John Hancock Center.  At the angle I was standing, I couldn’t get the entire building into the picture (perhaps that was a good thing, lest I had to lay down in the middle of Michigan Avenue to get it)!

The John Hancock Center is one of the tallest buildings in the world.  At 100 floors, it rises 1,027 feet (344 meters), with an observation deck on the 94th floor.

This structure was built in 1969; notice the “X” patterns in the steel.  This style of architecture is known as, “structural expressionist”.  In a nutshell, this “x-bracing” actually allows a building of this magnitude to withstand extremely high winds and earthquakes.  Instead of having this pattern located on the inside of the building, the design brings it to the outside (also opening up the…

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