Sears Tower Trivia

1,454 Feet Tall
The Sears Tower is 1,454 feet high (that’s about a quarter of a mile), and you can add another 253 feet for the twin antenna towers.


1,600 feet per minute
Sears Tower elevators operate as fast as 1,600 feet per minute.


106 Cabs
Two domed entrances, one with skylights, were added to the Sears Tower in 1984 and 1985. A 106cab elevator system (including 16 double decker elevators) divides the Tower into three separate zones, with skylobbies in between.


114 Piles
The Sear Tower’s heavy weight more than 440 million pounds is also supported by 114 piles sunk deep into the earth so that they stand firmly on hard, solid bedrock.


2 City Blocks
The Sears Tower covers two city blocks and has 101 acres of office and commerical space.


222,500 Tons
The combined weight of the building is 222,500 tons.


25,000 Entries More than 25,000 people enter the Sears Tower every day.


Architects The Sears Tower was designed by the architects “Skidmore, Owings & Merrill,” the same firm that designed the John Hancock Center.


Exercise? There are 2,232 steps from ground level to the roof. Unfortunately for those interested in a little legwork, people aren’t normally allowed to use the stairwells.


Floor Space 4.5 million gross square feet of floor space.


HOW much?!? The cost of building Sears Tower was in excess of $150 million.


Its Own City The Sears Tower is a city unto itself, containing 43,000 miles of telephone cable, 2,000 miles of electrical wire, 25,000 miles of plumbing, and enough concrete to build an eightlane highway five miles long. It even has its own zip code.


Lots of Windows The Tower’s framework consists of 76,000 tons of steel, has more than 16,000 bronzetinted windows, and has 28 acres of black duranodic aluminum skin.


Nice View On clear day, visibility from the Skydeck is more than 50 miles and four states: Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan.


Phone Wire The Sears Tower contains enough phone wire to wrap around the earth 1.75 times, and enough electrical wiring to run a power line from Chicago to Los Angeles.


Sears Tower Skydeck More than 1.5 million tourists visit the Sears Tower Skydeck each year.


Tallest in the World? The Sears Tower ranked as the world’s tallest building from its completion in 1973 until 1997, when twin towers in Malaysia beat it out by a few feet, WITH THE INCORPORATION OF SPIRES. The Sears Tower still boasts the highest top floor of any building in the world.


The Lobby and Calder The famous sculpture Alexander Calder has several pieces of art in the lobby of the Sears Tower. He is wellknown for his extremely large mobiles and red iron statues, one of the latter of which adorns the Federal Building Plaza.


The Tower is Tubes! The Sears Tower is an example of the revolutionary bundledtube structural design. Tube buildings gain most of their structural support from a rigid network of beams and columns in their outer walls. The rigid outer walls act like the walls of a hollow tube. The Sears Tower is actually a bundle of nine tubes, and is considered one of the most efficient structures designed to withstand wind. This is a great design for a skyscraper in Chicago, the “Windy City,” where the average wind speed is 16 miles per hour. As the building climbs upward, the tubes begin to drop off, reducing the wind forces on the building.


Three of the Tallest Chicago is home to three of the world’s tallest buildings:

Sears Tower. . .1,450 feet
Amoco Building. . .1,136 feet
John Hancock. . .1,127 feet


Three Years Opened in 1973, having taken three years to build.


To The ‘Burbs! At the top of the Sears Tower is the Skydeck. The vast majority of its 110 stories are offices for numerous professional firms and corporations — but not Sears Roebuck and Company. The department store giant fled the city for the suburbs in the early 1990s.


World’s Tallest Building! In 1974, the Sears Tower in Chicago assumed the coveted title of world’s tallest building, at 1,454 feet. It held this title for 22 years until 1998, when the decorative spires atop the Petronas Towers in Malaysia surpassed the Sears Tower by 33 feet. Today, the Sears Tower still boasts the tallest occupiable floor and the tallest skyscraper roof in the world.