The John Hancock Building: How Tall Is It?

At this risk of becoming ridiculously dizzy, a few weeks ago I took this picture of the John Hancock Building.  At the angle I was standing, I couldn’t get the entire building into the picture (perhaps that was a good thing, lest I had to lay down in the middle of Michigan Avenue to get it)!

The John Hancock Building is one of the tallest buildings in the world.  At 100 floors, it rises 1,027 feet (344 meters), with an observation deck on the 94th floor.

This structure was built in 1969; notice the “X” patterns in the steel.  This style of architecture is known as, “structural expressionist”.  In a nutshell, this “x-bracing” actually allows a building of this magnitude to withstand extremely high winds and earthquakes.  Instead of having this pattern located on the inside of the building, the design brings it to the outside (also opening up the interior for a larger floor plan, as it isn’t mired by the bracing of the building).

Here is a little piece of trivia I heard that I’m not necessarily certain is just an urban legend. Apparently it is supposed to be a ‘status symbol’ if you happen to live in a unit whose windows are partially blocked by part of an ‘x’.  Hhhhmmmm, methinks this might just be a case of the “Emperor’s New Clothes.”  Do you remember that story as a child?  The Emperor is told his new clothes look fabulous; all of the townsfolk are convinced that his robes and outfit are lovely.  The only problem is, the Emperor wasn’t wearing any clothes at all!  Being told the ‘x’ blocking your view of Lake Michigan is wonderful just might fit this emperor bill, don’t you think?


  16 comments for “The John Hancock Building: How Tall Is It?

  1. June 11, 2018 at 9:59 am

    Yes, I agree on the X thing. Perhaps more ‘buyers remorse’ in play? The skin looks like it’s in need of a power washing?

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 11, 2018 at 10:23 am

      Could be, John! But it is an extremely expensive building to move into! Well I have heard they do regular washing of the building so perhaps it will be done soon! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • June 11, 2018 at 1:58 pm

        I meant the metallic portions of the exterior. I bet it costs a few million to move in?

        Liked by 1 person

      • June 11, 2018 at 2:58 pm

        Ah, gotcha! Well, the late Chris Farley lived there (and sadly passed away there too). So I’m think a few bucks for a condo! Cher xo


  2. June 11, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    I’ve heard the same thing about the X’s. In fact, there are actually ads for condos in the building that say whether the apartment is obscured at all by them. People are strange.
    So, the observation deck is on 94, and 95 used to be and probably still is an overpriced restaurant and bar. Wonder what’s on 96-100? I would guess that it was a place where broadcasting equipment and transmitters were when “Big John” was the tallest building in town, but I think most stations have moved their transmitters to the Sears Tower (yes, I still call it that) years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 11, 2018 at 2:57 pm

      Have you, John? Well I agree; it is a strange thing indeed. Paying A LOT of money to have an obstructed view of downtown Chicago or Lake Michigan is not my idea of money spent wisely. Just my humble opinion!

      I’m not sure what is on 96-100. I’ve been up to 94 and the elevator shook but apparently that’s ‘normal’. Well I’m not even from here and i call it “Sears Tower”! LOL Cher xo


  3. The Militant Negro
    June 11, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 11, 2018 at 2:57 pm

      Merci beaucoup my dear! Happy Monday to you! Cher xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Militant Negro
        June 11, 2018 at 4:14 pm


        Liked by 1 person

      • June 11, 2018 at 4:59 pm



  4. June 13, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    Stunning building… I love that you mentioned the tale of the “Emperor’s new clothes”. Good analogy, dear Cher. Sending love 😘❣️

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 13, 2018 at 7:59 pm

      My dear Aquileana, thank you so much! Every time I see a comment written by you, I get a huge grin on my face! Your energy and kindness is always so appreciated! Ah, bless! Thank you, my dear! I do remember the “Emperor’s new clothes” as such an interesting story, and it made me think about the marketing plan the John Hancock Building must have used in order to have people okay with the ‘x’ marking the spot over their windows! LOL Sending love right back at you, dear Aquileana!! Cher xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      • June 14, 2018 at 7:22 pm

        Thanks so much for your words, dear Cher. Priceless 💓💜💕 have an awesome rest of your day 😘

        Liked by 1 person

      • June 15, 2018 at 7:32 am

        Ah, bless! Why thank YOU, dear Aquileana! And I hope you have an awesome weekend! Cher xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

  5. June 14, 2018 at 7:44 am

    Sales ploy for sure, nice building though

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 14, 2018 at 7:51 am

      It must be, Kelly! LOL Oh yes, it really is a nice building but I think you are right!! Cher xo


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