Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wha'chu talking about, Willis?

When you grow up visiting Chicago, and in a time when tall buildings ruled the World and boys were interested in these sorts of details, you have a laundry list of buildings: Empire State Building, John Hancock, Standard Oil, and the Willis Tower. Granted, the last three are all Chicago landmarks since the Windy City seemed to rule in the tall building derby back then – I think that at one point they were the three tallest in the World. Oh, maybe I need to go back and check that list…right, the Willis Tower. I remember in my youth when I’d ride the massive, high-speed elevators to the observation deck of the tallest building on the globe. Looking out far to the east-northeast I could see Wisconsin on a clear day; I could see my favorite Chicago landmark, the John Hancock building over on Michigan Ave. As I stood there, in awe, I thought “Wow, the Willis Tower is just way cool…” (remember, I was in my teens). I’ve often thought back on my journeys to the Willis Tower, my bus rides down Sheridan Ave, my walks around downtown and all these passed along to my children; the greatness, and trivial details, of theWillis Tower. Everyone who goes the city wants to see the Willis Tower. Even though it’s been bumped down some random list of “tallest structure/tower/blah blah blah”, it is still considered the tallest of the skyscrapers. SKYSCAPER! What a great term apparently from a nautical history and first applied to the Home Insurance Building (1885) in, of all places, Chicago. Long live the Willis Tower

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