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The Sears Tower

When the Sears Tower was constructed in 1974 it was the tallest freestanding building in the world.  This doesn’t count something like the CN tower in Toronto, because that is just a joke!  But seriously, people actually work everyday there and it has a real function.  Sears built it to be 26 meters taller than the world trade center.

But, in 1997 a rival appeared on the world stage.  The Petronas Towers were built in the Malaysian Capital of Kuala Lumpur and officially they are the new tallest buildings in the world.  This is a tough debate because the antennae on top of the Petronas towers are calculated into the equation…without those, they would be shorter than the Sears Tower.  But really, there are two of them so I’ll give the edge to the Petronas Towers.

But the real threat to the Sears Tower is the high winds in the windy city. In fact, at times the swaying of the building disturbs the people who work there.  You can imagine how scary that must be. The whole building makes squeaking noises, disturbing employees in the offices on the highest floors. These experiences should make constructors and architects think more about the impacts of extremely high buildings on the humans living and working in them.

The Sears Tower officially has 110 floors, but not all of those are accessible to regular people.  There is also an observation deck on the 103rd floor, that is visited by over a million people every year.