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Stories of the Windy City
Forged from stainless aluminum and encased in bronze-tinted glass, the Sears Tower rises majestically over the business sector of Chicago to stand at 518 m as the city's tallest building. Built in 1973 for Sears-Roebuck & Company, the Sears Tower was the highest building in the world until it was topped by the Petronas Towers in Malaysia in 1996.
Designed by architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the Sears Tower is composed of nine twenty-three-by-twenty-three-m towers bundled together, a type of design which allows for a building to have unlimited altitude. It is the largest private office complex in the world with a gross area of 410,000 square meters and 109 stories. Occupying an entire downtown Chicago block, the tower is comprised of sufficient steel to build fifty thousand cars, has enough concrete to complete an eight-lane, eight-kilometer-long highway, and enough wire to wrap around the earth one and three quarters times.
Owned today by a Toronto-based real estate investment trust firm, the former home of one of the world's biggest retail chains has become one of Chicago's most prestigious buildings and a haven for some of the city's biggest companies. It is also a must-see for the scores of tourists who flock to it every year to marvel at its formidable elegance and massive spires.