John Hancock Center
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Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Completion Date: 1969
Height: 1,127 feet
Facing Materials: Aluminum, glass
Engineer(s): Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Today, the John Hancock Center in Chicago, Illinois, is affectionately known as "Big John," but it was not always this way. Located on North Michigan Avenue along Chicago's "Magnificent Mile," the skyscraper was controversial from the start for its enormous bulk and dark metal exterior. Eventually, it was celebrated for its very brashness, and today it remains one of Chicago's best-loved icons.
Currently, the John Hancock Center is the twelfth tallest building in the world. But to keep such a tall building standing in the "Windy City," engineers had to make the enormous structure super stiff. How did they do it? The John Hancock Center is actually a super-tall steel tube. Steel columns and
In order to reach the whopping height of 1,127, engineers knew that the enormous 384-million-pound tower needed caissons to prevent it from sinking into the soft ground. Today, the John Hancock Center rests on several caissons that extend down to bedrock. One of the caissons actually reaches 191 feet below the ground -- the deepest ever sunk in Chicago!
Here's how this skyscraper stacks up against the biggest skyscrapers in the world.
(height, in feet)