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Chicago Sights

John Hancock Observatory

  • 875 N. Michigan Ave. Map It
  • Near North
  • Building/Architectural Site
  • Fodor's Choice
  • John Hancock Observatory, Chicago, Illinois, USA

    (c) Sidneyboot |

Updated 06/11/2013

Fodor's Review

Designed by the same team (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill) that designed the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower, this multiuse skyscraper is distinguished by its tapering shape and enormous X braces, which help stabilize its 100 stories. Soon after it went up in 1970, it earned the nickname "Big John." No wonder: it's 1,127 feet tall, 1,502 feet counting its antennae. Packed with retail space, parking, offices, a restaurant, and residences, it has been likened to a city within a city. It's impressive from any angle and offers mind-boggling views from a 94th-floor observatory, where, like the Willis Tower, you can see to four states on clear days. Those with vertigo might prefer a seat in the Lavazza Espression Café or the bar of the 95th-floor Signature Room. The tab will be steep, but you don't pay the observatory fee and you'll be steady on your feet—maybe.

Sight Information


875 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois, 60611, United States

Map It

Sight Details:

  • Observatory $17.50
  • Daily 9 am–11 pm; last ticket sold at 10:30 pm

Updated 06/11/2013


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