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Thread: Sears Tower a.k.a. Willis Tower - Chicago - by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

  1. #1

    Default Sears Tower a.k.a. Willis Tower - Chicago - by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

    Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

    Year: 1973

    Style: International

    Description: Built for the the Sears Roebuck & Co.
















  2. #2
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    Default Chicago - Sears Tower

    I'd absolutely hate to work there. But the building itself is ok. Over time, I've grown to like it.

    Black is powerful.

  3. #3

    Default Chicago - Sears Tower

    Working there is in fact the only place in the city saved from its beastly view.

  4. #4

    Default Chicago - Sears Tower

    That's what was said about the Eiffel Tower over a century ago. Well, not exacly working but eating... which is more typically French.

    The Sears Tower is a pure wonder. The masses might be lured by the apparent simplicity of its form, but its geometry is a masterpiece of asymmetry.

  5. #5

    Default Chicago - Sears Tower

    It's a clunky assemblage. There's worse, but Chicago deserves a more graceful and central skyline peak.

    The Hancock is a much more powerful black building to me, and that has to do with simplicity and logic of form. The Sears, although taller, was a feeble symbol next to the twin towers and still is.

  6. #6
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    Default Chicago - Sears Tower

    Let me weigh in on this. Since the destruction of the WTC towers, I look at Sears everytime it comes into view and I have a chance to see it.

    When I first came to Chitown, I did not like Sears all that much. To an extent I still do not. Unlike the WTC, is is bear bones simplicity. Except for the window washing machine grooves and the accentuation where the bundled tubes meet, it is essentially flat. ( Is it not ironic the the WTC towers, spec buildings, were more detailed and Sears, built as a corporate headquarters, was not. Considering the respective architects, one can get an explanation why this is.)

    But Sears is a powerful element on the skyline. The pictures here do it no justice. Compared to any WTB holder, it is dynamic, depending on which angle it is viewed. At times is seems tall and slick, others, a bit bottom heavy. Because the glass is not very reflective, it does not have the same dynamic in respect to color, but it is nonetheless an extradinary building. It would be nice if they could do something to the area at ground level. It is not fitting of such a tower.

    (By the way, I would hold off on the praise for John Hancock. The building observatory and antannae were renovated/replaced, and the graceful symmetry the tower once had is lost. It now has two different antanna and another "catwalk-like/mezzanine/roof-tent thingy" has been added. I mean it is really really [expletive deleted] up!)

  7. #7

    Default Chicago - Sears Tower

    At times is seems tall and slick, others, a bit bottom heavy.

    That's right.
    The diversity of its aspects is one reason why I like it. But, because it doesn't have one simple, recognizable image, it can't function as an icon.

    Never mind, one day, Chicago will have a symmetrical, super-tall building that will capture the attention of the population.

  8. #8

    Default Chicago - Sears Tower

    I don't buy the idea that regularity is a condition for iconic status and popularity. Visual coherence, perhaps.

  9. #9

    Default Chicago - Sears Tower

    In fact, one of the reasons the ESB is so famous is its duality: broad when viewed from 5th Avenue, slender when viewed from New Jersey or Queens.

  10. #10

    Default Chicago - Sears Tower

    Does anybody have photos of the adulterations to the Hancock tower that Chicagoan mentioned?

  11. #11
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    Default Chicago - Sears Tower

    Quote: from dbhstockton on 3:16 pm on Aug. 6, 2003
    Does anybody have photos of the adulterations to the Hancock tower that Chicagoan mentioned?
    I have a few, but I have to find a server to post them in order to get them to show up here.

    But skyscrapers.com has some recent pics that show the added "thingy" up top. It was added neas the west side, off center. None of the skyscrapers.com photos show the extension to the west antannae.

    (Edited by Chicagoan at 9:51 pm on Aug. 7, 2003)

  12. #12

    Default

    Sears Tower never gets old

  13. #13

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    Some construction pictures of the Sears Tower









    As for the Sears Tower be a gians series of boxes, well that might be the case, but what were the World Trade Cener towers? Nothing but big boxes clad in stainless steel. Not to many New Yorkers originally cared for those buildings when they were built, and they weren't giben their due respect until it was too late and they were gone. Then the buildings became a big deal as being the pride of New York. They'd always taken backseat to buildings like the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings. Chicagoans know what the Sears Tower is; a big black monolithic and sometimes overbearing box, but we've always shown it respect.

  14. #14

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    i think the tower itself is very unattractive - who agrees?
    ~AleX~

  15. #15

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    I like it. From a distance I think that it looks good.

    It is what it is. Without Sears Tower, skyscraper architectects would have tried a similar design somewhere else, with less appealling consequences.

    I think that at the time they were sick of designing perfectly symmetrical buildings.

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