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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 | Dreamstime.com

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

Address:

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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