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Lofty 'green' renovation for Sears Tower

Going Green | Skyscraper work to cost $350 mil., new hotel planned

By David Roeder, Chicago Sun-Times

June 25, 2009

 

Sears Tower is "going green" while keeping its attire of basic black.  The tower's owners are planning a rooftop-to-plaza renovation to conserve energy and power up its financial performance.  The makeover detailed Wednesday calls for giving the tower a new neighbor, a 50-story hotel that the Sears owners said would feature "net zero" use of energy.  They said changes to the tower itself will cut its appetite for electricity by 80 percent.  The work on the 110 -story tower should cost about $350 million, said John Huston, principal with American Landmark Properties Ltd. 

 

Read more at http://www.suntimes.com/business/1636981,sears-tower-green-hotel-062409.article

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Lofty 'green' renovation for Sears Tower

Skyscraper work to cost $350 mil., new hotel planned

 

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This architectural rendering is a view of the 66th floor roof of the Sears Tower with proposed solar panels (left) and wind turbines. 

 

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This architectural rendering shows the Sears Tower with plans to install green roofs on the 50th, 66th and 90th floors. Plans also include construction of a 50-story, 500-room luxury hotel (left) next door. 

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Sears Tower unveils 103rd floor glass balconies

 

CHICAGO — Visitors to the Sears Tower's new glass balconies all seem to agree: The first step is the hardest.  "It's like walking on ice," said Margaret Kemp, of Bishop, Calif., who said her heart was still pounding even after stepping away from the balcony.  "That first step you take — 'am I going down?"'  Kemp was among the visitors who got a sneak preview of the balconies Wednesday.  "The Ledge," as the balconies have been nicknamed, opens to the public Thursday.

 

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Children stand on "The Ledge," a five-sided glass box on the 103rd floor of the Sears Tower.

 

 

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A view of Wacker Drive as seen through the floor of a new glass balcony on Chicago's Sears Tower that juts out 1,353 feet above ground level.

 

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Man I wanna walk out on the ledge when I head to Chicago sometime next month.  Good to see they want to green the Sears Tower.

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My brother would be the kind of joker who would walk out onto this thing and start jumping up and down and say something like.. "Ha!.. Let's test this thing and see how strong it really is!" Afterall, it is supposed to be strong enough to hold how many tons?

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The change of name from "Sears Tower" to "Willis Tower" is an insult to the building and it's history. It's almost as taboo as changing the name of th Chrysler Building or Empire State Building. While the company, Willis Holdings, is a great move for Chicago, there is no reason for a name change.

 

Please visit the following link and sign the petition to keep it Sears Tower if you support keeping it.

 

http://www.itsthesearstower.com/

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The change of name from "Sears Tower" to "Willis Tower" is an insult to the building and it's history. It's almost as taboo as changing the name of th Chrysler Building or Empire State Building. While the company, Willis Holdings, is a great move for Chicago, there is no reason for a name change.

Please visit the following link and sign the petition to keep it Sears Tower if you support keeping it.

 

http://www.itsthesearstower.com/

 

How do you know this?  If the building didn't need the money, they would not have offered naming rights.

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The petition is a waste of time, IMO.  There's much more serious losses Chicagoans have had to deal with....You know LaSalle Bank, Wards and Marshall Fields.  I'd take Willis Tower over Empty Tower, which is exactly what this skyscraper was on its way to being.  What part of history does Sears deserve?  They bailed on their city for the suburbs and aren't exactly a first rate department store.  Why not honor the loss of the stockyard or the steel industry, the true builders of Chicago.

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Waves of creativity: Aqua, the world's tallest building designed by a woman-owned firm, is one of Chicago boldest--and best--new skyscrapers

Chicago Tribune - Blair Kamin

 

Aqua, the spectacular new Chicago skyscraper with the sensuous, undulating balconies, is the pearl of the long-running, now-ending Chicago building boom, a design that is as fresh conceptually as it is visually.  Located just north of Millennium Park at 225 N. Columbus Drive, the 82-story tower is still in the finishing stages, so it is impossible to fully assess whether its function is as successful as its form.  Nonetheless, it can be said that Aqua is remarkable on several counts.

 

It is the tallest building designed by a woman-owned architectural firm and the first skyscraper from Chicago’s Jeanne Gang, of Studio Gang Architects, who is just 45 years old.  Aqua also is a real estate miracle: Its financing documents were signed in late August 2007 — just before the credit crunch hit it.  Had the tower been delayed by 60 to 90 days, says the building’s architect-of-record and co-developer,  Jim Loewenberg, it might never have been built.  None of this would matter without Gang’s singular design, whose three chief components are hotel space on floors 4 through 18, apartments on floors 19 through 52 and condominiums from floors 53 to 81.  There are also shops, parking and townhouses facing an adjoining park.

 

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More at http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/theskyline/2009/11/waves-of-creativity-aqua-the-worlds-tallest-building-designed-by-a-woman-is-one-of-chicago-boldestan.html

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I'm not usually into the "blob-itecture" style of design.  But I thought the Aqua was noteworthy.  Using those projecting balconies to create a sculptural rippling form over a standard boxy skyscraper was a very clever design trick.

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I don't like this building.  I can see it from my office.  The railings on the balcony are so cheap and the "balcony'" are approximately 5'5" wide at the entry point.

 

Its very mediocre

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I don't like this building. I can see it from my office. The railings on the balcony are so cheap and the "balcony'" are only 5.5: wide at the entry point.

 

Its very mediocre

 

But an 81st floor penthouse would be high enough for you!  If I owned one of those I don't know that I'd be able to use the balcony....

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I don't like this building.  I can see it from my office.  The railings on the balcony are so cheap and the "balcony'" are only 5.5: wide at the entry point.

 

Its very mediocre

 

But an 81st floor penthouse would be high enough for you!  If I owned one of those I don't know that I'd be able to use the balcony....

 

Boo, you know I like OLD preware buildings.  That new fangled glass crap is so tired to me.  They're everywhere and all the units look alike.

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I don't like this building. I can see it from my office. The railings on the balcony are so cheap and the "balcony'" are only 5.5: wide at the entry point.

 

Its very mediocre

 

But an 81st floor penthouse would be high enough for you! If I owned one of those I don't know that I'd be able to use the balcony....

 

Boo, you know I like OLD preware buildings. That new fangled glass crap is so tired to me. They're everywhere and all the units look alike.

 

Yeah....  I was curious what the interiors looked like, so I found some pictures of the rental units online.  They pretty much look like the 668 Euclid interiors.....  just a whole lot more expensive!

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If I owned one of those I don't know that I'd be able to use the balcony....

 

That's what I was thinking.  But maybe I'd get used to it.  I experimented with highrise living recently and liked it much more than I thought I would.  Views can be totally mesmerizing.

 

Whether or not I'd want to live there, those balconies really are pretty sweet when viewed from the ground.  So much better than a blank box or the typical uniform lines of balconies.  Helps break up the glare of the glass too. 

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If I owned one of those I don't know that I'd be able to use the balcony....

 

That's what I was thinking.  But maybe I'd get used to it.  I experimented with highrise living recently and liked it much more than I thought I would.  Views can be totally mesmerizing.

 

Whether or not I'd want to live there, those balconies really are pretty sweet when viewed from the ground.  So much better than a blank box or the typical uniform lines of balconies.  Helps break up the glare of the glass too. 

 

the railings are skinny iron railings.  For all the money they couldn't come up with a better and more architecturally pleasing rail?

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I'm not terribly afraid of heights but I would be paranoid about dropping something and it rolling under the rail and plummeting to lord knows what below.

 

Actually, I do want to know what happens.  I've dropped a penny here and there.    >:D

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I have to agree with UncleRando.  While I think it's hideous, at least it brings something new to the table, err cityscape.

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It's an interesting facade treatment that isn't very expensive.

 

As for you balcony haters, stop being such wimps!

 

see: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2606/3855256580_dca234f4dc_o.jpg

^That just made me dizzy. Oy.

 

That's just crazy or photoshop!

 

Heh, I'm acquainted with the guys in the photo, crazy is the right word to describe them.

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It's an interesting facade treatment that isn't very expensive. 

 

As for you balcony haters, stop being such wimps!

 

see: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2606/3855256580_dca234f4dc_o.jpg

^That just made me dizzy.  Oy.

 

That's just crazy or photoshop!

 

Heh, I'm acquainted with the guys in the photo, crazy is the right word to describe them.

 

You need better acquaintances!

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i like this building. at least from a distance it looks cool. well i guess it would seem to be a better fit for the florida coast than chicago.

 

the ratner's gehry beekman going up in downtown manhattan is doing a similar wavy thing, except with stainless steel.

 

say does anyone know if they bumped up the height here chicago-style (ie., by packing car parking into it)?

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