311 South Wacker Drive

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311 South Wacker Drive
311 South Wacker Drive 060528.jpg
General information
Status Complete
Type Office
Location 311 S. Wacker Drive
Chicago, Illinois
Construction started 1988
Completed 1990
Height
Architectural 292.9 m (961 ft)[1]
Roof 961 feet (293 m)
Top floor 256.8 m (843 ft)[1]
Technical details
Floor count 65[1]
Floor area 1,400,000 sq ft (130,000 m2)[2]
Lifts/elevators 34[1]
Design and construction
Architect Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
HKS
Developer Gerald Kostelny/Lincoln Property Company
Main contractor J.A. Jones Construction
References
[1]

311 South Wacker Drive in Chicago, USA, is a post-modern 65-story skyscraper completed in 1990. At 961 feet (293 m) tall, it is the seventh tallest building in Chicago and the 16th tallest in the United States. It was once the tallest reinforced concrete building in the world. The building is also the tallest building in the world known only by its street address.[3]

The lower level of the winter garden was designed for a possible connection via underground passageway to Chicago Union Station. The building also contains three levels of underground parking. The building contains both retail and commercial tenants.[4]

Design[edit]

311 South Wacker Drive as viewed from the 103rd floor of the nearby Willis Tower

Lobby[edit]

The lobby is an impressive two-level (one below ground) 85-foot (26 m)-tall glass-ceilinged "winter garden" with palm trees and a fountain, supported by a steel structure influenced by the city’s "L" tracks and bridges. It was envisioned as a commuter link or "pedestrian station" serving as a connection from the nearby Union Station through a disused streetcar tunnel under the South Branch of the Chicago River.[5] Raymond Kaskey's bronze sculpture "Gem of the Lakes" looks over the garden from the Wacker entrance. The fountain shell form is taken from the city seal with a heroic figure representing Chicago as the "city of broad shoulders" wearing a cape symbolic of the great engineering feat which reversed the flow of Chicago River.[5]

Crown[edit]

The top of the building is a 105-foot (32 m)-tall translucent cylinder, surrounded by four other smaller cylinders, which was inspired by the massing of the Tribune Tower. This makes it among the most visible Chicago skyscrapers at night, as its crown is brightly illuminated. The five cylinders on top are lit at night by 1,852 fluorescent tubes, and a lantern at the top changes colors for various holidays and special events.[citation needed]

Park[edit]

311 South Wacker is surrounded to the northwest by a grassy area, commonly used as a lounging and public lunch area during warm months, which is the largest area of green space in the Chicago Loop. This park is used to host local farmer markets, musical events, and various art and cultural festivals. To the southwest is a parking lot.[citation needed] This land was originally to be occupied by two companion towers that were never developed due to office market conditions.

Position in Chicago's skyline[edit]

311 South Wacker Willis Tower Chicago Board of Trade Building 111 South Wacker AT&T Corporate Center Kluczynski Federal Building CNA Center Chase Tower Three First National Plaza Mid-Continental Plaza Richard J. Daley Center Chicago Title and Trust Center 77 West Wacker Pittsfield Building Leo Burnett Building The Heritage at Millennium Park Crain Communications Building IBM Plaza One Prudential Plaza Two Prudential Plaza Aon Center Blue Cross and Blue Shield Tower 340 on the Park Park Tower Olympia Centre 900 North Michigan John Hancock Center Water Tower Place Harbor Point The Parkshore North Pier Apartments Lake Point Tower Jay Pritzker Pavilion Buckingham Fountain Lake Michigan Lake Michigan Lake MichiganThe skyline of a city with many large skyscrapers; in the foreground are a green park and a lake with many sailboats moored on it. Over 30 of the skyscrapers and some park features are labeled.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°52′40″N 87°38′08″W / 41.87778°N 87.63556°W / 41.87778; -87.63556