Fun Facts

What Do You Know About The Willis Tower?

  • Willis Tower is 1,450 feet (443 meters) high – 1,730 feet (520 meters) including twin antenna towers.
  • Willis Tower is the twelfth-tallest building in the world; it is the third tallest building in the North America and the Western Hemisphere, standing 1,450 feet and 110 stories tall.
  • Willis Tower is home to the highest public viewing area in the United States.
  • The Skydeck is 1,353 feet (412 meters) above the ground.
  • The lowest level of Willis Tower is 43 feet (13 meters) below the Franklin St. elevation.
  • The combined weight of the building is 222,500 tons – that’s 445,000,000 lbs., 201,849,000 kg, or almost 20,000 city buses!
  • The cost of building Willis Tower was in excess of $150 million.
  • Willis Tower opened in 1973 and took 2,000 workers 3 years to build. It took the Ancient Egyptians 20 years to build the pyramids at Giza.
  • The building has 4.5 million gross square feet (418,064 gross square meters) of floor space; or roughly 101 football fields.
  • On a clear day, you can see four states – Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan. Visibility from the Skydeck is approximately 40-50 miles (65 – 80 kilometers).
  • The average sway of the building is approximately 6 inches (152 millimeters) from true center, but the building is designed to sway up to 3 feet.
  • Willis Tower has approximately 16,100 bronze-tinted windows.
  • 6 roof-mounted robotic window washing machines clean all 16,100 windows.
  • Willis Tower elevators operate as fast as 1,600 feet (488 meters) per minute – among the fastest in the world.
  • Willis Tower contains 25,000 miles (40,223 kilometers) of electrical cable.
  • Approximately 43,000 miles (69,200 kilometers) of telephone cable runs through the building – enough to stretch across the continental United States 15 times!
  • Willis Tower was designed for more than 12,000 occupants.
  • Approximately 25,000 people enter the building each day.
  • Approximately 1.7 million tourists visit the Skydeck each year.
  • The Ledge’s glass boxes extend out 4.3 feet from the skyscraper’s Skydeck on the 103rd floor. Each box weights 7,500 lbs.
  • The Ledge’s glass boxes are comprised of three layers of half-inch thick glass laminated into one seamless unit.
  • The Ledge’s boxes have a thin film over the top layer of glass that assures a clear view 1,353 feet straight down!
  • The Ledge’s glass boxes are designed to retract into the building, allowing easy access for cleaning and maintenance.
  • The Ledge is built to withstand five tons of pressure and can hold 10,000 lbs!
  • The Ledge has what is called “heat tracing” to melt snow off the glass.

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