Monday, October 1, 2012

Revisiting: Willis Tower

In my revisiting post this time, I would like to write about Willis Tower (formerly known as and STILL fondly called Sears Tower). According to its website, at 110 stories, it is the tallest building in the US. After its completion back in 1973, it was the tallest building in the world but only held this rank for about 25 years (Wikipedia) before our Petronas Twin Towers took over the title in 1998. As of 2012, it is the ninth tallest building in the world.
The Willis Tower from the ground. I almost broke my neck taking this photo.

I went there when my sister came down to visit me from Minnesota during her spring break. We stayed at my old friend's house at Bolingbrook that week and took the train to Union Station. I really wish that I actually jot down all the details such as ticket prices and the time it took to get from Lemont station (nearest train station from Bolingbrook to go downtown) but thanks to Google Map (LOVE IT) I can say that it'll take about 1 hour 7 minutes to reach Union Station by Metra Heritage Corridor line and costs $5.25 for a one-way ticket (for other ticket prices click HERE).

From Chicago Union Station, it's an easy 5 minutes walk to Willis.

View Larger Map

Our sole objective of going there was to go on the Skydeck, where we would be able to see the whole city from the 103rd floor! Just a tip before going up there, make sure you check the weather forecast as a cloudy day would definitely put a damper on how far you can see, if at all.

50 miles... and 4 states!

The Skydeck is open 365 days but the opening hours vary. It's open from 9am - 10pm in April to September and 10am - 4pm in October to March. It costs $17.50/adult for a basic admission. For other ticket prices or available discounts, do visit their website or perhaps subscribe to Groupon?
Our tickets. There have been 1,782,330 visitors before us -_-

At the lobby, you would go through various informative titbits about the tower. Such as these...

Try to spot KLCC!
Prior to going up, I was thinking of how much time it would take to reach the top by elevator. But guess what, it would take us less than a minute,! According to their website,"Willis Tower elevators operate as fast as 1,600 feet (488 meters) per minute - among the fastest in the world". More fun facts here.

The main attraction of Skydeck is The Ledge, a glass balcony which extends 4-feet outside the 103rd floor. I'm normally afraid of heights but hey, it's not every day that I get the chance to have a bird's eye view of Chi-town! My sis and I were holding on to each other until we saw a toddler who just walked onto The Ledge and leaned on the glass wall nonchalantly, enjoying the view. We instantly felt braver by 15%. We spent a good half an hour just taking in the view and taking photos of each other while sitting/leaning on the glass floor. I was tempted to have my trademark jumping photo taken but decided against it as more visitors started pouring in. I don't want to be the cause of so many deaths when the glass breaks y'know. Meh.
Yay we made it! Even though still takut-takut. hahah
Spot the John Hancock building, another famous building where you can go up and get a bird's eye view of Chicago
See if this guide can help you.

Definitely something you shouldn't miss when you visit Chicago!

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