Standing at a height of 527 metres at the tip, the iconic Willis Tower (formerly known as Sears Tower) is one of the tallest buildings in the world. Opened to the public in 1973, the cloud-kissing skyscraper bears testament to the tremendous structural strength of steel, which mankind has utilised for ages to build magnificent structures. Here are some interesting trivia about the tower that you may not know:
- The Tower was commissioned and owned by Sears, Roebuck & Co., from 1973-1995, hence the initial name. In 2009, Willis Group Holdings, a London-based insurance broker, leased a significant portion of the building and acquired its naming rights. Later that year, the building was renamed as Willis Tower.
- The tower was built by 2,000 workers over a period of 3 years.
- The total floor space in the building is roughly equal to that of 101 American football fields.
- On a cloudless day, 4 different states, namely, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois, are visible from the Skydeck at the top of the Tower.
- The building was designed by Fazlur Rahman Khan, a Bangladeshi-American architect and structural engineer, who also designed the 100-storey tall John Hancock Center in Chicago.
- The Tower has been built according to the tube structural system developed by Khan, which is widely used to construct buildings taller than 40 storeys.
- The structural steel frame of the tower was pre-assembled section-wise. Then they were brought on site and bolted into place.
- In 2015, Blackstone Group purchased Willis Tower for a reported sum of $1.3 billion, which is the highest price paid till date for a property on US soil outside New York City.
- Nearly 1.3 million tourists visit the Skydeck at the top of the tower every year.
- In 1999, urban climber Alain Robert, also known as the “French Spiderman”, scaled the tower all the way to the top without using any climbing equipment, choosing to rely only on his bare hands and feet.
The Willis Tower is one of the most majestic buildings in the modern world, and its popularity does not seem to have reduced one bit over the decades. In the coming days, Blackstone Group plans to improve the Tower, introducing new facilities that could increase its appeal even further. While we cannot recommend using TMT bars to construct skyscrapers like the Willis Tower as the construction process is vastly different from the ones used in constructing regular buildings, these bars work wonders for residential and commercial houses up to 30-40 storeys high. So, if you are planning to build a new home or office, then getting in touch with your local TMT bar suppliers and picking up a bunch of SRMB TMT bars is definitely a good idea.