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Facts about the Sears Tower

The Sears Tower—now called “Willets Tower”—is an iconic building in Chicago that greets over one million visitors every year. Completed in 1973, the Sears Tower held the distinction of being the tallest building in the world from 1973 to 1998. Originally called “The Sears Tower,” the building was renamed in 2009…but it still largely referred to by its initial name. The Sears Tower is 108 stories tall and tops out at 1,452 feet! Although most of the building is comprised of offices, there is an observation tower at its top that is hugely popular among tourists.

Scenes of the Sears/Willets Tower.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images
The Sears Tower is now officially called the Willets Tower.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Below is a list of facts about the Sears (Willets) Tower:

• Construction on the Sears Tower began in 1970 and went very quickly—the building was completed in 1973.

• The total “floor area” of the building is 4,477,800 square feet.

• The only building taller than it in the United States is the Freedom Tower/New World Trade Center in New York City.

• The Sears Tower has been climbed by daredevils. In 1981 a man named Dan Goodwin dressed up like Spiderman and scaled the building. Although the fire department tried to stop him, he made it to the top successfully and was promptly arrested and charged with trespassing (police later released him). Then, in 1999, a French man named Alain Robert climbed all the way to the top with his bare hands! Amazingly, he survived his ascent!

• The official address of the Sears/Willets Tower is 233 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60606.

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