Why Was the Sears Tower Built?

Located within the City of Chicago in Illinois, Sears Tower was considered the tallest building in the world starting from 1974 to 1998. A massive 108-storey structure, it eventually broke the record that was once set by the World Trade Center in New York. Until today, it ranks amongst the tallest freestanding structures worldwide, owning the fourth place after Burj Dubai in United Arab Emirates, CN Tower in Canada and Ostankino Tower in Russia. For those who want to know the reason behind the construction of the Sears Tower, let’s take a trip back to history and find out the different important details surrounding such move.

Reason Behind the Construction of the Sears Tower

searstowerfarWhy was the Sears Tower built? The reason for the construction of this massive commercial structure in 1969 was to consolidate numerous Chicago area employees of Sears, Roebuck & Co. under one building. As the biggest retailer in the world during that time, the company has a whopping 350,000 employees within this particular area alone. It then hired Skidmore, Owings and Merrill to design an office building that would be considered one of the biggest in the world. With this kind of massive structure, future growth was also part of the plan.

The addition of a couple of television antennas took place in February 1982. This move increased the height of the building to 1,707 feet. On June 5, 2000, one of the antennas was extended to 1,730 feet in order to enhance the reception of WMAQ-TV, which is the local television station of National Broadcasting Co. Because of tough competition during that time, Sears had a problem contending against other retailers. By 1992, it started to move out its numerous offices out of the building.

In 1994, AEW Capital Management purchased the building from Sears. The year after, Sears has left the structure completely. It relocated to a new office within Hoffman Estates in Illinois. In 1997, TrizecHahn Corp. decided to buy the building. In 2003, the property was surrendered to MetLife. In 2004, numerous investors bought it including American Landmark Properties.

Additional Details and Other Important Information about Sears Tower

Because of its super tall stature including the antennas, this building is susceptible to lightning strikes. Annually, the antennas are struck by lightning at an average rate of about 650 to 675 times. At 1,353 feet, this structure has restrooms situated on the 103rd floor. These are the second highest recorded in the western hemisphere. Only the restrooms of Shanghai World Financial Center in China are higher.

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