Skyscrapers in Chicago

List of tallest buildings in Chicago

This list of tallest buildings in Chicago ranks skyscrapers by height in the U.S. city of Chicago, Illinois, which is considered to be the birthplace of the skyscraper. The tallest building in Chicago is the 108-story Sears Tower, which rises in the Chicago Loop and was completed in 1974. It also stands as the tallest building in the United States, and the fifth-tallest building in the world. In addition, the Sears Tower has the most floors of any completed building in the world, and stands as the world's tallest completed skyscraper when measuring to pinnacle height, rising with the addition of its western antenna. The second- and third-tallest buildings in Chicago are the Aon Center and the John Hancock Center, respectively. As of June 2008, the John Hancock Center, with 49 floors of condominiums, holds the world record for the highest residence. In addition, Chicago has the distinction of being the only city in the world with more than one completed building containing at least 100 floors.

The history of skyscrapers in Chicago began with the 1885 completion of the Home Insurance Building, which is often regarded as the first steel-framed skyscraper in the world. The building was originally constructed with a height of and 10 stories, and was later expanded to a height of and 12 stories before being demolished in 1931. Historically, Chicago has played a prominent role in the development of the skyscraper. The Masonic Temple Building was the tallest building in the world using the unconventional definition that excludes the New York World Building's ornamental lantern. Three past buildings have been considered the tallest building in the United States, including the Chicago Board of Trade Building, which in both of its incarnations held the title of Chicago's tallest building. Chicago went through a very early high-rise construction boom that lasted from the early 1920s to the mid-1930s, during which time 11 of the city's 91 tallest buildings were constructed. The city then went through an even larger building boom that has lasted from the early 1960s until the present. During this time, the city has seen the completion of 79 buildings rising at least in height, including the Sears Tower, the Aon Center and the John Hancock Tower. The high-rises that have been constructed are mostly concentrated in the Loop and along the Magnificent Mile in Chicago's Near North Side community area. Chicago is the site of 91 completed buildings that stand at least in height, with 16 more under construction. Overall, the skyline of Chicago is ranked (based on existing and under-construction buildings over tall) first in the Midwestern United States and second in the United States, after New York City. As of June 2008, there are 1,074 completed high-rises in the city, second in the country behind New York. Based on the average height of the ten tallest completed buildings, Chicago has the tallest skyline in the world.

Chicago has three buildings under construction that are planned to exceed in height: the Chicago Spire, the Trump International Hotel & Tower, and the Waterview Tower. The 150-story Chicago Spire, upon its completion in 2011, would become the tallest building in the United States and one of tallest buildings in the world. The tower would also stand as the tallest all-residential building in the world,surpassing Q1 in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. There are also several buildings proposed for construction in the city, the largest being the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and Residence Tower, which would rise and 107 floors upon its completion in 2012. As of June 2008, there are 160 high-rise buildings under construction, approved for construction, and proposed for construction in Chicago.

Tallest buildings

This list ranks Chicago skyscrapers that stand at least 500 feet (152 m) tall, based on standard height measurement. This includes spires and architectural details but does not include antenna masts. Existing structures are included for ranking purposes based on present height.

Rank Name Height
ft / m
Floors Year Notes
1 Sears Tower 01.01,451 / 442 108 1974 5th-tallest building in the world, tallest building in the United States. Has been the tallest building in the city, the state, and the country since 1974. Tallest building in the world from 1974 until 1998. Remains the tallest completed building in the world when measuring to pinnacle height. Tallest building constructed in the city and the world in the 1970s.
2 Trump International Hotel and Tower* 01.11,362 / 415 96 2009 This building topped out in August 2008 to become the second-tallest building in the city.
3 Aon Center 02.01,136 / 346 83 1973 17th-tallest building in the world, 4th-tallest in the United States.
4 John Hancock Center 03.01,127 / 344 100 1969 19th-tallest building in the world, 5th-tallest in the United States. Tallest completed building in the world that contains both commercial and residential units. Tallest building constructed in Chicago in the 1960s.
5 AT&T Corporate Center 04.01,007 / 307 61 1989 35th-tallest building in the world, 10th-tallest in the United States. Tallest building constructed in the city in the 1980s.
6 Two Prudential Plaza 05.0995 / 303 64 1990 39th-tallest building in the world, 12th-tallest in the United States. Tallest building constructed in Chicago in the 1990s.
7 311 South Wacker Drive 06.0961 / 293 65 1990 47th-tallest building in the world, 15th-tallest in the United States.
8 900 North Michigan 07.0871 / 265 66 1989 77th-tallest building in the world, 25th-tallest in the United States.
9 Water Tower Place 08.0859 / 262 74 1976 89th-tallest building in the world, 29th-tallest in the United States.
10 Chase Tower 09.0850 / 259 60 1969 101st-tallest building in the world, 32nd-tallest in the United States.
11 Park Tower 10.0844 / 257 67 2000 108th-tallest building in the world, 35th-tallest in the United States.
12 300 North LaSalle* 10.1785 / 239 60 2009 Under construction - this building topped out in July 2008 to become the 12th tallest building in the city.
13 Three First National Plaza 11.0767 / 234 57 1981 58th-tallest in the United States.
14 Chicago Title & Trust Center 12.0756 / 230 50 1992 63rd-tallest building in the United States.
15 One Museum Park* 13.0734 / 224 62 2008 Under construction; this building was topped out in early 2008. 85th-tallest building in the United States. Tallest building on South Side of Chicago. Tallest all-residential building in the city, second-tallest all-residential building in the United States after Trump World Tower in New York City. Tallest building in the city located outside of the Chicago Loop and the Near North Side.
16 Olympia Centre 14.0725 / 221 63 1986 89th-tallest building in the United States.
17 330 North Wabash 15.0695 / 212 47 1973 Also known as IBM Building.
18 111 South Wacker Drive 16.0681 / 208 51 2005
19 181 West Madison Street 17.0680 / 207 50 1990
20 Hyatt Center 18.0679 / 207 48 2005
21 One Magnificent Mile 19.0673 / 205 58 1983
22 340 on the Park 20.0672 / 205 64 2007 Tallest completed all-residential building in the city
23 77 West Wacker Drive 21.0668 / 204 49 1992 Also known as the United Building. Formerly known as the R.R. Donnelley Building.
24 UBS Tower 22.0652 / 199 50 2001
25 Richard J. Daley Center 23.0648 / 198 31 1965 Tallest flat-roofed building in the world that contains less than 40 floors.
26 55 East Erie Street 24.0647 / 197 56 2003 2nd-tallest completed all-residential building in the city, and 3rd-tallest all-residential building in the country.
27 Lake Point Tower 25.0645 / 197 70 1968 Shortest building in the world to contain 70 floors.
28 River East Center 26.0644 / 196 58 2001
29 Grand Plaza I 27.0641 / 195 57 2003
30 Leo Burnett Building 28.0635 / 194 50 1989
31 The Heritage at Millennium Park 29.0631 / 192 57 2005
32 NBC Tower 30.0627 / 191 37 1989
33 Millennium Centre 31.0610 / 186 59 2003
34 Chicago Place 32.0608 / 185 49 1991
35 Chicago Board of Trade Building 33.0605 / 184 44 1930 Tallest Art Deco building in the world outside of New York City. Tallest building constructed in the city in the 1930s.
36= One Prudential Plaza 34.0601 / 183 41 1955 Tallest building constructed in Chicago in the 1950s.
36= CNA Center 34.0601 / 183 44 1972
38 Heller International Building 36.0600 / 183 45 1992 Tallest building in the city west of the Chicago River.
39 Madison Plaza 37.0599 / 182 45 1982
40 1000 Lake Shore Plaza 38.0590 / 180 55 1964
41 The Clare at Water Tower 38.0589 / 179 52 2008 Will stand as one of the tallest senior living centers in the world upon completion.
42= Marina City I 39.0588 / 179 61 1964
42= Marina City II 39.0588 / 179 61 1964
42= Citigroup Center 39.0588 / 179 41 1985
45 Mid-Continental Plaza 42.0583 / 178 49 1972
46 Smurfit-Stone Building 43.0582 / 177 41 1983
47 North Pier Apartments 44.0581 / 177 61 1990
48 Citadel Center 45.0580 / 177 37 2003
49 The Fordham 46.0574 / 175 52 2003
50 190 South LaSalle Street 47.0573 / 175 42 1987
51 One South Dearborn 48.0571 / 174 39 2005
52 Onterie Center 49.0570 / 174 57 1985
53 Chicago Temple Building 50.0568 / 173 21 1924 Tallest building constructed in the city in the 1920s.
54 Palmolive Building 51.0565 / 172 37 1929
55= Huron Plaza 52.0560 / 171 56 1983
55= Boeing International Headquarters 52.0560 / 171 36 1990
57= The Parkshore 54.0556 / 169 56 1991
57= North Harbor Tower 54.0556 / 169 55 1988
59 Civic Opera House 56.0555 / 169 45 1929
60= Newberry Plaza 57.0553 / 169 53 1974
60= Michigan Plaza South 57.0553 / 169 46 1985
60= 30 North LaSalle 57.0553 / 169 44 1975
63 Pittsfield Building 60.0551 / 168 39 1927
64= Harbor Point 61.0550 / 168 54 1975
64= One South Wacker 61.0550 / 168 40 1982
66 Kluczynski Federal Building 63.0545 / 166 45 1975
67 Park Millennium 64.0544 / 166 57 2002
68 USG Building 65.0538 / 164 35 1992
69= The Pinnacle 66.0535 / 163 48 2004
69= LaSalle Bank Building 66.0535 / 163 45 1934
71 Park Place Tower 68.0531 / 162 56 1971 Tallest building in the city located outside of Downtown Chicago (Chicago Loop, Near North Side, Near South Side or Near West Side).
72 One North LaSalle 69.0530 / 162 48 1930
73 Elysées Condominiums 70.0529 / 161 56 1972
74 River Plaza 71.0524 / 160 56 1977
75 35 East Wacker Drive 72.0523 / 159 40 1927
76 Unitrin Building 73.0522 / 159 41 1962
77 Mather Tower 74.0521 / 159 42 1928
78= 10 South Wacker 75.0520 / 158 40 1987
78= 30 South Wacker 75.0520 / 158 40 1987
80 The Columbian 77.0517 / 158 47 2008
81 191 North Wacker 78.0516 / 157 37 2002
82= 401 East Ontario 79.0515 / 157 51 1990
82= One Financial Place 79.0515 / 157 39 1985
84 The Streeter 81.0514 / 157 50 2007
85= Park Tower Condominiums 82.0513 / 156 54 1974 Also known as 5415 North Sheridan.
85= 600 Lake Shore Drive, South Tower* 82.0513 / 156 47 2008 Under construction; this building was topped out in early 2008.
87 LaSalle-Wacker Building 84.0512 / 156 41 1930
88= Harris Bank Addition II 85.0510 / 155 38 1977
88= 321 North Clark 85.0510 / 155 35 1987 Also known as Quaker Tower.
90 400 East Ohio Street 87.0505 / 154 50 1983
91 Carbide & Carbon Building 88.0503 / 153 38 1929
92= One Superior Place 89.0502 / 153 52 1999
92= 10 South LaSalle 89.0502 / 153 37 1986 Also known as Chase Plaza.
94 120 North LaSalle 91.0501 / 153 39 1992
95= The Tides 92.0500 / 152 51 2008
95= 200 South Wacker Drive 92.0500 / 152 41 1981

* indicates still under construction, but has been topped out

Tallest buildings by pinnacle height

This list ranks Chicago skyscrapers based on their pinnacle height, which includes radio masts and antennas. As architectural features and spires can be regarded as subjective, some skyscraper enthusiasts prefer this method of measurement. Standard architectural height measurement, which excludes antennas in building height, is included for comparative purposes.

Rank Name Pinnacle height
ft / m
Standard height
ft / m
Reference
1 Sears Tower 01.01,730 / 527 01.01,451 / 442
2 John Hancock Center 02.01,500 / 457 03.01,127 / 344
3 Aon Center 03.01,136 / 346 02.01,136 / 346
4 AT&T Corporate Center 04.01,007 / 307 04.01,007 / 307
5 Two Prudential Plaza 05.0995 / 303 05.0995 / 303
6 311 South Wacker Drive 06.0961 / 293 06.0961 / 293
7 One Prudential Plaza 07.0912 / 278 10.0601 / 183
8 900 North Michigan 08.0871 / 265 07.0871 / 265
9 Water Tower Place 09.0859 / 262 08.0859 / 262
10 Chase Tower 10.0850 / 259 09.0850 / 259

Tallest under construction, approved, and proposed

Under construction

This lists buildings that are under construction in Chicago and are planned to rise at least 500 feet (152 m). Under construction buildings that have already been topped out are also included.

Name Height
ft / m
Floors Year Notes
Chicago Spire 01.02,000 / 610 150 2011 Upon completion, will be the tallest building in the United States. It will also stand as the second-tallest all-residential building in the world and tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere.
Trump International Hotel and Tower 02.01,362 / 415 96 2009 This building topped out in August 2008. Tallest development by Donald Trump currently under construction in the world. Upon completion, it will break the record for the world's highest residence that is currently held by the John Hancock Center, but will likely lose the title to the Chicago Spire in 2011.
Waterview Tower 03.01,047 / 319 89 2009 Construction suspended.
Aqua 04.0822 / 251 82 2009 Upon completion, will stand as one of tallest buildings in the world designed by a female-lead architectural firm. Will be the first skyscraper in Chicago to contain a hotel, condominiums, apartments and retail space.
The Legacy at Millennium Park 05.0819 / 250 73 2009
300 North LaSalle 06.0785 / 239 60 2009 Topped out in July 2008.
Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower 07.0743 / 226 54 2010 Building is undergoing a height addition; it was originally completed in 1997 with a height of .
One Museum Park 08.0734 / 224 62 2008 Topped out in early 2008.
Elysian 09.0686 / 209 60 2009
155 North Wacker 10.0638 / 195 45 2009
353 North Clark 11.0624 / 190 44 2009
One Museum Park West 12.0620 / 189 54 2009
The Clare at Water Tower 13.0589 / 179 52 2008 Will stand as one of the tallest senior living centers in the world upon completion.
Streeter Place 14.0570 / 174 53 2009
600 Lake Shore Drive, South Tower 15.0513 / 156 47 2008 Topped out in early 2008.

Approved

This lists buildings that are approved for construction in Chicago and are planned to rise at least 500 feet (152 m). A floor count of 40 stories is used as the cutoff in place of a height of for buildings whose heights have not yet been released by their developers.

Name Height*
ft / m
Floors Year Notes
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and Residence Tower 01.01,265 / 386 107 2012
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Chicago 02.0930 / 283 78 2010
Cityfront Plaza Tower III 65 2009

* Table entries without text indicate that information regarding building heights, floor counts, and/or dates of completion has not yet been released.

Proposed

This lists buildings that are proposed for construction in Chicago and are planned to rise at least 500 feet (152 m). A floor count of 40 stories is used as the cutoff in place of a height of for buildings whose heights have not yet been released by their developers.

Name Height*
ft / m
Floors* Year* Notes
Grant Park Tower IV 02.0900 / 274 83
29 South LaSalle 03.0870 / 265 51 2009
Park Michigan 04.0866 / 264 80 2009
InterContinental Chicago (North Tower) 05.0850 / 259 71 2009
375 East Wacker Drive 06.0840 / 259 76 2010
Grant Park Tower III 07.0790 / 241 73
560 North Fairbanks 08.0787 / 240 58 2010
200 North Riverside Plaza 09.0700 / 213 50 2009
Lakeshore East Building 2-O 10.0650 / 198
150 East Ontario 11.0588 / 179 51
Lakeshore East Building 2-A 12.0550 / 168 2010
Lakeshore East Building 3-I 13.0525 / 160 2010
630 North McClurg Court, South Tower 14.0515 / 157 50 2009 Also known as 335-363 East Erie South.
630 North McClurg Court, North Tower 15.0515 / 157 50 2009 Also known as 335-363 East Erie North.
The Peshtigo 16.0 58 2010
Medici Towers I 17.0 53
Central Station - 1200 South Indiana 18.0 53 2009
222 West Randolph 19.0 50
740 North Rush 20.0 50
319 East Illinois Street 21.0 50

* Table entries without text indicate that information regarding building heights, floor counts, and/or dates of completion has not yet been released.

Timeline of tallest buildings

This lists structures that once held the title of tallest building in Chicago. The title of tallest building in the city has changed many times over the decades, although only the Sears Tower has held the title of world's tallest building.

Name Street address Years as tallest Height
ft / m
Floors Reference
First Holy Name Cathedral 09.0733 N. State Street 1854–1869 12.0245 / 75 1
Saint Michael's Church 11.01633 N. Cleveland Avenue 1869–1885 11.0290 / 88 1
Chicago Board of Trade Building 04.0141 W. Jackson Boulevard 1885–1895 09.0322 / 98 10
Masonic Temple Building 12.0N. State Street and E. Randolph Street 1895–1899 10.0302 / 92 21
Montgomery Ward Building 01.06 N. Michigan Avenue 1889–1922 08.0394 / 120 22
Wrigley Building 08.0400 N. Michigan Avenue 1922–1924 07.0438 / 134 27
Chicago Temple Building 03.077 W. Washington Street 1924–1930 06.0568 / 173 23
Chicago Board of Trade Building 04.0141 W. Jackson Boulevard 1930–1965 05.0605 / 184 44
Richard J. Daley Center 02.050 W. Washington Street 1965–1969 04.0648 / 198 32
John Hancock Center 10.0875 N. Michigan Avenue 1969–1973 03.01,127 / 344 100
Aon Center 06.0200 E. Randolph Street 1973–1974 02.01,136 / 346 83
Sears Tower 07.0233 S. Wacker Drive 1974–present 01.01,451 / 442 108

See also


Notes

A. New York City had three buildings with 100 floors or more prior to the destruction of the twin 110–story towers of the World Trade Center in the September 11, 2001 attacks.
B. New York has 219 existing and under construction buildings over 500 ft (152 m), and Chicago has 107. Source of skyline ranking information: SkyscraperPage.com: New York, Chicago
C. This building was destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, and replaced by the current cathedral of the same name in 1875.
D. The clock tower on this building was removed in 1895, allowing a shorter building to become the tallest in the city.
E. This building is currently 282 feet (86 m) tall, following the removal of a pyramid top and sculpture.

References

General

External links

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