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Nominal Me

I'm falling in love with my camera and taking photos everywhere I go. That, combined with my passions for politics, sports, religion and other things we all agree on, makes this blog persist.

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Location: Astoria, New York, United States

I'm born in Manhattan and raised in Queens.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Photo Essay: The Hancock Observatory, Chicago

The Hancock Observatory, located on North Michigan Avenue at Chestnut Street, boasts the city's only open-air skyscraper deck.

It has been voted "Chicago's Best View". At least according to the sign.

The observatory is part of the John Hancock Center, a Chicago landmark.

The skyscraper designed by structural engineer Fazlur Khan of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and, when completed in 1969, was the tallest building in the world outside of New York City.

It is the third tallest skyscraper in Chicago and the fourth tallest in the United States, after the Sears Tower, the Empire State Building and the Aon Center.

The building is home to offices and restaurants, as well as more than 700 condominiums and contains the highest residences in the world. The first residential lease for the Hancock building was signed by Benjamin Gingiss who lived in the building until his death.

The open air observatory is a product of a 1997 $2.5 million renovation that resulted in the replacement of nine-foot tall plate-glass windows with NASA-tested stainless-steel screens. In the distance, you can see the Sears Tower.

From 1,000 feet up on the 94th floor, you can see up to 80 miles out, extending into four states.

On December 18, 1997, Saturday Night Live star Chris Farley, died in his apartment of a drug overdose.

Due to the sloping shape of the building, you can really get a sense of how high up you are.

You get a spectacular view of Lake Shore Drive.

There's a view of the Adler Planetarium (center of the photo).

Some of the area hotels have rooftop pools. That's got to be fun.

Here's a view of the James W. Jardine Water Purification Plant. My Dad the engineer would love it.

If you catch it on the right day, you'll have plenty of space to wander around Chicago.

It's a great view of Chicago and in a great place to spend money: it's not too far away from the Magnificent Mile.