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Architecture Photo: Willis Tower Night Skyline

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Chicago's Architecture

The architecture of Chicago has influenced and reflected the history of American architecture. The city of Chicago, Illinois features prominent buildings in a variety of styles by many important architects. Since most buildings within the downtown area were destroyed (the most famous exception being the Water Tower) by the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, Chicago buildings are noted for their originality rather than their antiquity.

Beginning in the early 1880s, architectural pioneers of the Chicago School explored steel-frame construction and, in the 1890s, the use of large areas of plate glass. These were among the first modern skyscrapers.

Willis Tower, formerly named Sears Tower, is a 108-story, 1451-foot (442 m) skyscraper in Chicago, Illinois. At the time of its completion in 1974, it was the tallest building in the world, surpassing the World Trade Center towers in New York, and it held this rank for nearly 25 years. The Willis Tower is the tallest building in the United States and the sixth-tallest freestanding structure in the world, as well as the fifth tallest building in the world to the roof.

Although Sears' naming rights expired in 2003, the building continued to be called Sears Tower for several years. In March 2009 London-based insurance broker Willis Group Holdings, Ltd., agreed to lease a portion of the building and obtained the building's naming rights. On July 16, 2009, the building was officially renamed Willis Tower.

(Source: Wikipedia.org)

 

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