Chicago will soon have an embarrassment of riches — at least when it comes to observation decks offering a bird’s-eye view of the city’s marquee skyline and glorious lakefront. The City Council’s Zoning Committee made certain of it Thursday, signing off on a developer’s revised plan to build a $200 million observatory at the top of the 83-story Aon Center near Millennium Park. Chicago already has two entrenched observation decks — atop Willis Tower and the building at 875 N. Michigan Ave. once known as the John Hancock Center. But this one will be different. Part of that uniqueness is the fact that it’s close to the wildly-popular Millennium Park, with the Bean and the water-filled wall of ever-changing pictures of everyday people that has become one of Chicago’s favorite meeting places and biggest tourist attractions. An architectural rendering of a proposed observation deck atop the Aon Center in downtown Chicago. A City Council … [Read more...] about Zoning Committee OKs Aon Center observation deck; city’s 3rd high-profile perch
Sky observation deck
Update, 8:50 a.m. Friday: Welp. Fog is blocking the view… Update, 6:15 a.m. Friday: The Needle is unwrapped. Photos coming soon. The Space Needle’s makeover is nearly complete, and it’s time for the big reveal. Just after 9 p.m. Thursday, crews plan to remove a massive tarp hiding construction to the famous observation deck that began last year. Then, they’ll spend a month or so removing a 100-ton elevated scaffold platform, according to project leaders of the Seattle Center. “It’s a wrap!” a Facebook post by the Seattle Center says. “We can’t wait to see it!” a tweet by the institution adds. The $100 million renovation project includes translucent floors and a new motor in the Needle’s rotating restaurant, as well as a glass panels to separate patrons and the sky. Other changes include fresh paint on the exterior, and, possibly, more elevators. With the updates, Space Needle CEO Ron Sevart said last year, … [Read more...] about ‘It’s a wrap!’: Crews reveal Space Needle’s new-and-improved observation deck
By ALLY MAROTTI and BLAIR KAMINChicago Tribune May 20. 2018 10:28PM The Sky Summit would lift a glass cab with room for 22 people over the edge of the Aon Center, hold the cab here for up to 40 seconds with Millennium Park more than 1,100 feet below and then bring everybody back to Aon's rooftop. (The Hettema Group) Aon Center's proposed observatory will include interactive screens, a lounge and outdoor space, and a capsule that lifts passengers beyond the edge of the skyscraper. (Solomon Cordwell Buenz) CHICAGO — The owners of the Aon Center, Chicago's third-tallest skyscraper, on Monday unveiled plans for an observatory atop the building, potentially setting up a heated competition for tourist dollars with established observatories at Willis Tower and 875 N. Michigan Ave., the former John Hancock Center.The stakes are as high as the buildings. A thriving observatory can be like a gold mine for a building's owners, producing far more revenue per square foot … [Read more...] about Aon Center’s planned observation deck could create competition for tourists
In an age when smartphone-obsessed humans aren’t prone to observation, Chicago is getting another sky-high observation deck, a place the aforementioned humans can go and take smartphone pictures of views they can’t be bothered to directly observe.Owners of the Aon Center skyscraper have announced plans for a rooftop observatory and a ride called the Sky Summit that hoists a clear cab full of people over the edge of the building for a brief thrill. The building will also get a glass elevator tube that shoots visitors up the side of the skyscraper to the observatory.As my colleagues Ally Marotti and Blair Kamin reported, the Aon Center plan would set up “a heated competition for tourist dollars with established observatories at Willis Tower and 875 N. Michigan Ave., the former John Hancock Center.”That’s right. Chicago will have three different spots where tourists and residents alike can get bird’s-eye views of the the city and the lake.But if you … [Read more...] about Aon Center observation deck won’t peel our eyes from our phones. Here’s what might.
The owners of the Aon Center, Chicago’s third-tallest skyscraper, on Monday unveiled plans for an observatory atop the building, potentially setting up a heated competition for tourist dollars with established observatories at Willis Tower and 875 N. Michigan Ave., the former John Hancock Center.The stakes are as high as the buildings. A thriving observatory can be like a gold mine for a building’s owners, producing far more revenue per square foot than ordinary office space. But there are only so many tourists like Kiara Culmer, who on Monday was visiting the 360 Chicago observatory atop 875 N. Michigan, to go around.The view of Lake Michigan and distant skyscrapers, including the Aon Center, was amazing, but her family, visiting from the Bahamas, had other things to spend their time and money on, she said.“As a tourist, I would definitely not be going to all three (observatories),” said Culmer, as her husband Neil and their 2-year-old son Karter peered out the … [Read more...] about Aon Center’s planned observation deck, Chicago’s third, could create competition for tourist dollars