“I can’t find Sears Tower.” It may sound crazy to say about one of the tallest buildings in the world, but we’ve been hearing it a lot. People go looking for it on the web and come to the conclusion that it’s gone.
Rest assured the building is still there. It’s still extremely tall. It’s arguably better than ever. But it has a different name.
No, the building formerly known as Sears Tower has not changed its name to an unpronounceable symbol. It is now known as the Willis Tower. Willis, a large reinsurance firm, bought the naming rights to the building and not surprisingly changed the name. Just to make things slightly more complicated, the observation deck has its own name: Skydeck Chicago.
Originally completed in 1973, the then Sears Tower was the tallest building in the world until 1998. At 1,450 feet (1,704 if you count it’s antenna), the now Willis Tower is plenty tall.
And no matter what name you use, the views from Skydeck Chicago at the top of the Willis Tower are not just as good as they were when it was called Sears Tower, they are better. At least as long as the thought of being able to look straight down 1,353 feet is your idea of “better.” The folks at Skydeck Chicago have put glass viewing platforms that extend out from the walls of the building. By standing on what is known as “The Ledge” you can not only look up and out, but straight down between your feet.
Quick tip: a Go Chicago Card will get you in free to the Willis Tower (plus pretty much anything else you’d want to see in the city) or build it into your own personal custom explorer pass for Chicago – a Go Select Chicago Pass. Either way you save money compared to buying tickets separately.