Chicago residents will argue that their city is second (or third) to none in everything from pizza to sports to public transit. But while these allegiances err on the side of subjective, Chicago is indisputably the birthplace of skyscrapers and one of the most beautifully constructed cities in the world. The entire metropolitan area boasts historic, stunning buildings; it is the Loop’s bevy of famous ‘supertalls’ that sets Chicago apart from the pack.
The John Hancock Center is often seen as Chicago’s second-tallest tower, even though the Aon Center and the Trump Tower are both taller. It is similar in design and functionality to the Willis Tower, and was even built first, in 1969. Many claim the John Hancock has a better skydeck attraction than the Willis because of its position in River North and close proximity to Lake Michigan, offering better panoramic views of the city.
John Hancock Center, 875 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL, USA +1 312 794 7777
Known affectionately as “the corn cobs” around Chicago, these twin scalloped-edge towers alongside the Chicago River are the original template for mixed-use, high-rise buildings. By offering apartments for rent, condos for purchase and commercial space for hire, multi-faceted skyscrapers began to catch on in the following years. Marina City opened in 1964 and has been a fixture of Chicago architecture ever since.
Marina City, 300 N State St, Chicago, IL, USA +1 312 222 1111