One of the reasons I love Chicago so much is its magnificent architecture. There are few buildings as iconic as the revamped Willis (formerly Sears) Tower. When it was completed in 1974, it was the world’s tallest building – standing at 1,450 feet and 110 stories. Willis Tower remains the highest point against the beautiful Chicago skyline.
The one problem with the spectacular modernist tower was its disconnectedness from the city. In 2015, EQ Office, a realty company owned by Blackstone, bought the property. The company hired Gensler, the largest architecture firm in the world, in collaboration with SKB Architects and OLIN, to inject new life into the tower and weave it into the urban fabric.
In 2017, Clayco, in a partnership and joint venture with Turner, began the construction for the reimagining of the tower. The recently completed half-billion-dollar makeover has transformed the famous skyscraper’s base. Once a fortress-like podium, it is now a destination for workers, neighbors, and visitors alike, and altered its relationship with the surrounding streets in Chicago’s Loop.
The enlarged, invigorated glass-clad base of 463,000 square feet includes two new tenant lobbies plus a restaurant and retail annex, anchored by a skylit atrium – named Catalog as a nod to Sears and its mail-order empire. There is also a 30,000-square-foot roof garden that is accessible to the public.
The best way to experience the space is to go see it for yourself! Visit Chicago.
Read more about the upgrade here.