The Tallest Exoskeleton Building In the World

2016-04-12 Pic 1
Image used under Creative Commons license. See Notes (1) for attribution.

Chicago is a tall town.  We have something like five of the ten tallest buildings in the world, or some such.  We no longer hold the distinction of the tallest building, but our urbanscape is filled with feats of architecture and engineering, enough to make any urbanscape photographer ecstatic.

Take this monster, for instance.  It’s the tallest exoskeleton skyscraper on the planet.  What’s an exoskeleton?  Well, you’re lookin’ at it.  Those cross bars are the load-bearing joists that hold that puppy up.  As you’ll remember from high school physics, that diagonal shape can hold up a lot of mass.  And stacked like that, it can hold up a giant skyscraper.

2016-04-12 Pic 2
Image used under Creative Commons license. See Notes (2) for attribution.

The Powers-That-Be in Chicago didn’t trust that the Hancock would stay up, way back when it was built, so before they issued the permits they required a rough draft.  I tried to find some clear shots of it, because sadly I can’t find my own pictures of the building in question.  You can see if in the left of this image, the black “X” over the windows.  The building is located at the Chicago River and Jackson, downtown, just across from Union Station.  It’s actually the entrance to Union Station; what you’re looking at here, in terms of the street, is the roof of the station underground.

It’s a big place.  There are trains under there.  Big ones.  It’s a cool place to explore.

But, that’s not my topic for today.  The John Hancock is.  Fun facts about the building – it’s supposedly the birthplace of Anton LaVey, the founder of the Church of Satan.  Because of its metal exoskeleton, there are all sorts of legends that the building is a focal point for magical or otherworldly energies, that it’s a portal, and that it’s haunted.  ~shiver~

I actually went to a job interview in there once.  It wasn’t a good fit, and was one of the few times I’ve experienced direct racism in my life.  I found the experience enlightening because it’s what my friends who can’t pass go through and live with every day.  But that’s not the building’s fault, now is it?

One can go inside it as a tourist and venture all the way to the top where one can see several states on a clear day – Illinois, (since it’s standing in Chicago, and Chicago is in Illinois, that follows); but also Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin.  It’s right on the lakefront, so the views of Lake Michigan are spectacular.  It’s an anchor of the world-famous “Magnificent Mile,” the avenue of shops, eateries, and historical buildings along Michigan Avenue to which tourists come from all over the world.  And, if that’s not enough, there’s a restaurant at the very tippy-top called The Signature Room where one can dine on the 95th floor.  Many a marriage proposal have been made in this historic location.

Hmm.  That sounds like a plot bunny waiting to happen, doesn’t it, Dear Reader?

Stay tuned tomorrow where we visit Koreatown.  I know, I know; I said we’d do that today, but that’s because apparently I can’t remember the alphabet song and the fact that J comes before K in English.  Coffee.  Coffee will fix this problem.

Until tomorrow.

Notes

(1) Image used under Creative Commons license, retrieved from the following link 04/12/2016.

(2) Image used under Creative Commons license, retrieved from the following link 04/12/2016.


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6 thoughts on “The Tallest Exoskeleton Building In the World

  1. Mil Holmes says:

    Only been to Chicago twice. Planning another visit soon.

    1. This is a great place to visit!

      Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I appreciate it!

  2. That’s fascinating about all the marriage proposals! Be well, my dears.

    1. Right? My husband doesn’t like heights, so it wasn’t true for us. I proposed when my cat, who didn’t even sit on *my* lap, curled up and fell asleep on his. 🙂

  3. I went to Chicago for the first time last November and loved it. Probably helped that the weather cooperated! And I remember seeing this building. Great post!

    1. Thanks, Jennifer! I’m glad the weather cooperated; November can be quixotic. 🙂 Some years it’s fine; others one is snowed in one’s home for Thanksgiving.

      Thanks for stopping by to comment!

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