This, of course, is the Sears Tower. I mean the Willis Tower. When you walk by it, it just BEGS to be photographed from the base. In the past, I've actually thrown myself down on the sidewalk to capture the best angle.
When this building was originally completed in 1973, it was actually the tallest building in the world, and it held that honor for 25 years. (I actually went up in this tower for the first time in 1976.) The Sears naming rights expired in 2003, but it was in 2009 when London-based insurance broker Willis Group Holdings leased part of the building and bought the rights did the name officially change. Willis Schmillis. It will always be Sears to me.
On this particular trip, we did NOT go up to the top - there was a 2 hour wait, which is common in the summer. We've been up there a number of times, and it is actually worth the wait if you've never been. They show you a great movie that was made to document the construction and design of the building, and at the top there are many photographs and memorabilia surrounding the history of Chicago (fans of "Devil in the White City" will love this).
In 2009, when Willis put their name on the place, they invested in a major overhaul of the Skydeck, which included a glass-bottom extension that sticks out over Wacker Drive. This would be on the 103rd floor guys. No thanks. I would have to lay on the thing because my legs wouldn't work with that kind of view.