Monday, September 5, 2011

Visiting the Skydeck in the Willis Tower

Until a few years ago,
the Willis Tower was known as the Sears Tower.
In fact, it is still commonly called the Sears Tower
by many people.

The Sears Tower was built in 1973
and was the tallest building in the world.
It held that rank for 25 years.

The Willis Tower is the tallest building
in the western hemisphere at this time.
When we arrived in Chicago on Saturday afternoon,
the top of the tower was enshrouded in clouds
and we thought that we would have to wait
to visit the tower.

However, by the time we had checked into the hotel
and unpacked our bags, 
the weather had cleared,
so we decided to head over to the tower.

The walk was a mere 1.7 miles from our hotel
and it is quite easy to lose sight of a tall building
in a sea of skyscrapers.

"Just look for a tall building," 
I kept telling my husband, 
tongue firmly planted in cheek,
as we walked through the streets of downtown Chicago.

We finally found the tower and followed the signs
to the correct entrance for the Skydeck.

And now for a public service announcement.
If you ever intend to visit the Skydeck,
do yourself a favor and get a FastPass ticket.

They are twice the price of a regular ticket, 
but given the choice between standing in line
for 1-1/2 hours and being able to skip all those lines
it just might be worth the extra money.

I think I'll take the elevator, thank you very much.

On a clear day you can see four states:
Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Finally we made it to the top.

And it was still the same day!

The Skydeck is on the 103rd floor
and the elevator makes that journey
(from the basement)
in 60 seconds.
That is 24 feet per second.

That isn't so bad,
but the swaying from side to side is.

We are looking to the south here.
The progression is counter-clockwise
around the Skydeck, 
so next will be east, then north, then west.

I can't see my house from here.

Looking north.

Our hotel is down there somewhere.

Someone needs to clean these windows.

Looking west.

Yes, we were brave enough to step out on the ledge!
These are glass boxes that extend 
4.3 feet out from the Skydeck
and 1,353 above the ground.

I took a picture of random people to prove that
I was in another glass box.

The Foodie Husband stepped out onto the ledge.

He surveys the sights.

Saying goodbye to the 103rd floor.

1 comment:

Rosie Hawthorne said...

We wanted to go on the skywalk in the Grand Canyon. Got right up to it, then everyone was shooed off. There was a thunderstorm 50 miles away and they worry about flash floods. This is in an area that gets 1/4" rain a year, according to my guide book.