John Hancock Center, Chicago

Chicago’s John Hancock Center (“Big John”) was completed on May 6, 1968 and is located on prestigious North Michigan Avenue on the city’s north side. It is a 100-story, 1,127 foot tall building that includes over 1,000 offices and condominiums, as well as restaurants and an observation deck.

The structure utilizes structural expressionist design, which incorporates the latest architectural technology, called High Tech Architecture and sometimes represented by the external steel columns on the exterior of the building. In the case of the John Hancock Center, these external steel beams brace the building as a structural necessity, as well as to help stand against Chicago’s strong winds. They are quite noticeable and mark the building as being distinctive against the other skyscrapers in the city.

For a short period in the late sixties, it was the tallest building in the world.  Now, number 10 and falling, due to the current building boom of high rise competition in the United States and around the world. But the Hancock Center remains a building prestige. Current prices for condos run between $500,000 to $800,00 for 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms, respectively. Compared to $1,000,000 to $5,000,000 for condominiums at the Trump building across town and also compared to the $22,000,000 + pricing for an apartment in any one of New York’s new luxury residential skyscrapers.

Skidmore, Owings and Merrill were the primary architects and the original developer and tenant was the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company.

Popular attractions for tourists are the Signature Restaurant on the 95th floor. its accompanying bar on the 96th floor and the 360 degree observatory located 1,030 feet above.

John Hancock Center Chicago
John Hancock Center Chicago

John Hancock Building
100 Floors of Expressionist Design

View from Above
Google Earth View

Restaurant on 93rd Floor
93rd Foor Restaurant

One could own an apartment on one of the upper floors and go to work on in an office below without leaving the building. This is ideal for those that love Chicago, but hate their brutal winters.

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