Tallest Building in Chicago Unveiled!

Are you curious to know what the tallest building in Chicago is? Look no further.

Chicago is the third largest city in the United States of America.

Additionally, in the history of skyscrapers, the Chi-town is the home of the first-ever US skyscraper, built in 1885.

Currently, Chicago is the home of the third tallest building in the US.

In this article, we will explore the tallest buildings in Chicago by height and floors.

An image of the tallest building in Chicago
Willis Tower, the tallest building in Chicago as viewed from the South Side.
Photo Credit: Illinois Tech

What’s the tallest building in Chicago?

The tallest building in Chicago currently is the Willis Tower, formerly recognized as the Sears Tower.

This skyscraper measures 1450 feet high, with an exclusion of the twin antenna towers.

If the twin antenna towers are included in the count, Willis Towers measures an impressive 1730 feet high.

Willis Tower is 110 stories of office space, built in 1974 and was until May 2013 known as the tallest building in the world.

Currently, it is the 12th tallest building globally.

There is the city’s viewing deck located on the 103rd floor of this building.

At the deck you can view up to 40-50 miles away, giving a glimpse at 3 other cities, that is Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan.

An image of the tallest building in Chicago
Willis Tower, the tallest building in Chicago as viewed from the South Side.
Photo Credit: Illinois Tech

Top 10 tallest buildings in Chicago

Chicago’s skyline is dominated by some pretty great architectural designs.

At present, here is a list of the 10 tallest buildings in Chicago.

1. Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) – 1,451 feet (442 meters)

As prior discussed, this is currently the tallest skyscraper in the city of Chicago.

2. Trump International Hotel and Tower – 1,389 feet (423 meters)

This beautiful architectural design gracing the city’s skyline is located at the waterfront.

Trump International Hotel and Tower is a 95-story building housing luxury guest rooms and hotel condo suites.

Even though it is among the tallest buildings in Chicago currently, it is set to be overtaken by the planned Tribune East Tower.

3. St. Regis Chicago – 1,198-foot

St. Regis is the newest skyscraper in Chicago.

Its construction kicked off in 2016 and was completed in 2019.

Furthermore, St. Regis is the third tallest building in Chicago and the tallest female-designed tower globally.

The building is only 11th tallest in the US and is made up of three interconnected towers and 101 stories of hotels and condos.

4. Aon Centre – 1,136 feet (346 meters)

Formerly Standard Oil building, which was once the second tallest building in Chicago, Aon Centre is currently only the fourth tallest.

Aon Centre is an 83-story building currently standing at a distant 12th tallest building in the US.

5. 875 North Michigan Avenue (formerly John Hancock Building) – 1,127 feet (343 meters)

Formerly known as the John Hancock Centre, 875 North Michigan Avenue is the 5th tallest building in the Chi-Town with 100 stories of shops, restaurants, and residential amenities.

Additionally, this building has the best 360-view of Chicago and is best known to the locals for its band of white lights at the top which shift based on festivities and sporting events.

6. Franklin Centre (Two Prudential Plaza) – 1007 feet (307 meters)

Known to many as “The Franklin”, this building is a 61-story facing the Chicago River.

Franklin Centre formerly known as the AT&T Centre is the 6th tallest in Chicago and only 27th tallest in the US.

It holds the record for the tallest building constructed in Chicago in the 1980s.

7. Two Prudential Plaza – 995 feet (303 meters)

This building holds the record for the tallest building constructed in Chicago in the 1990s.

Moreover, Two Prudential Plaza is a 64-story, 7th tallest in Chicago but only 30th tallest in the entire US.

8. One Chicago East Tower – 973 feet (296 meters)

This is another relatively new tower whose construction was initiated in 2019 and completed in 2021.

Additionally, One Chicago East Tower is a 78-story building which was opened to the public in 2022.

It a home to 800 residences, including retail establishments, office spaces, a gym, and an event centre.

9. 311 South Wacker Drive – 961 feet (293 metres)

311 South Wacker Drive, which was completed in 1990, used to be the tallest building made of reinforced concrete in the world.

However, the title of the tallest building now belongs to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

Nonetheless, 311 South Wacker Drive still has many noteworthy features.

The skyscraper is a 65-story famous for its special top part, which has five cylinders.

There’s a big central cylinder surrounded by four smaller peg-like structures, and they all light up with 1,852 fluorescent tubes.

This creates a beautiful display of changing colours, especially during holidays and special events.

10. NEMA Chicago – 896 feet high (273 metres)

The NEMA isn’t the tallest building in Chicago. However, it holds the record as the tallest residential building for rent in the city, featuring 800 apartments across 76 floors.

It’s quite intriguing, right?

Furthermore, this skyscraper houses several amenities such as coworking spaces, an indoor/outdoor swimming pool, basketball and squash courts, a kids’ room, and a ballroom.

What’s the tallest building in the US?

The tallest building in the US is the World Trade Centre, an impressive 1,776 feet and 104 stories.

Furthermore, this is the tallest building in New York City and the 7th tallest building globally.

A photo of the tallest building in NYC
One World Trade Centre
Photo credit: thecollector

What’s the current tallest building in the world?

The tallest building globally is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai towering at an impressive 2717 feet high.

Does Chicago have more skyscrapers than New York?

As per the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) 2023, New York City has 421 skyscrapers.

In contrast, Chicago has approximately 130 skyscrapers that are 600 feet or taller.

Therefore, New York City has more skyscrapers than Chicago.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower) is the tallest building in Chicago, standing at 1,451 feet (442 meters) tall.

It is located in the Chicago Loop and has 110 stories.

The Willis Tower was once the tallest building in the world upon its completion in 1974 and remained the tallest building in the United States until May 10, 2013.

Additionally, the building owned by Blackstone Group and is mainly used for office and retail space.

While the Willis Tower is no longer the tallest building in the world, it remains an iconic landmark of Chicago’s skyline and a testament to the city’s architectural prowess.

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