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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Chicago Architecture Blog was invited to today's media preview of The Ledge, which opens to the public tomorrow at Skydeck Chicago (formerly the Sears Skydeck).

I've been a little hesitant when walking on glass floors in places like Toronto and Seoul and elsewhere. But The Ledges (there are four of them) felt really good and solid and safe. I had no hesitation and there was no worry even though I was 103 floors up.

Of course, it's a rainy day in Chicago today, but that's OK. The clouds occasionally parted and the ledges are the BEST way to really get a view of the city. Much better than being hemmed in behind a railing like before. I bet other observation decks around the world will start installing similar glass pods. It's a much better experience.

Anyway, here are some of the pictures. I'll post more on the blog along with some videos in the next few hours and days.

































 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Didn't know the ledges were retractable. Cool!
Yeah, they roll inside for cleaning and maintenance and to get out of the way of the regular window washing equipment.

The mechanics are visible in the ceiling. It hasn't been decided if they'll be covered up, painted black, or left the way they are.
 

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This is very nice. I remember hearing about it a while back. But while this will excite people who haven't been up there before, what about those that already have? Nice innovation, but I don't know if it'd make me want to go up there again. I already like the Hancock better, and I haven't even been up there yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This is very nice. I remember hearing about it a while back. But while this will excite people who haven't been up there before, what about those that already have? Nice innovation, but I don't know if it'd make me want to go up there again. I already like the Hancock better, and I haven't even been up there yet.
I hadn't been to the Skydeck since about 2004, and I can say that for me, the glass pods were definitely worth a return visit. It's really a whole different way of seeing the city. You're no longer behind railings and barricades.

You're right -- all things being equal, Hancock has the better view. But this is like when you got your first HDTV and all you wanted to do is watch the HD channels, even if the programming wasn't all that great. The picture is just so superior it's compelling.
 

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^I've always liked Sears more. Hancock has better views of the lake and beaches, but who cares? If you want to look at individual buildings, Sears is way better.
 

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is there one on the East and West side of the SEARS tower? I repeat...the SEARS TOWER...
They are on the west (Wacker Drive) side. That's the only side of the building where the view from the Skydeck goes all the way down to the street. The other sides go down to roofs of lower setbacks.

Mike
 

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Melbourne's Eureka Tower (the tallest building in my Avatar) has this type of glass observation platform. You get in and hear a 'scary?' grinding sound as the opaque cube extends outside the facade. Then the glass turns clear. Chicago seems to have been more daring with less metal in the framework and at a higher level than our 88th floor version. One point we have to don slip covers for our shoes so over time the glass doesn't get scuffed......probably a good idea. I have visited the Sears Tower and know it has fantastic views...so visitors to this new attraction should take the opportunity to look straight down. See many tourists here just looking out at the view ?..........and some of your photographers doing the same thing there.
 

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They are on the west (Wacker Drive) side. That's the only side of the building where the view from the Skydeck goes all the way down to the street. The other sides go down to roofs of lower setbacks.

Mike
ohhhhh right. That does make sense:lol:
 

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Why'd they put the ledges on the back side of the tower in relation to downtown?
 

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This thread is chock-full of great shots. Thanks for sharing. I too was wondering why the ledges weren't constructed on the north side of the building, where there are more buildings to look out at. How were the lines? Did you have a decent amount of time on the ledge?
 
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