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1869 Chicago Water Tower In May of 1969 during the year of its Centennial Anniversary the Chicago Water Tower was selected by the American Water Works Association to be the first American Water Landmark in the nation The tower was completed in 1869 and survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 The architect was William W Boyington and the tower is constructed of Joliet limestone blocks quarried in Illinois Sears Tower Vital Statistics Location Chicago Illinois USA Completion Date 1973 Cost 150 million Height 1454 feet Stories 110 Materials Steel Facing Materials Black aluminum Engineers Skidmore Owings Merrill The Sears Tower is an example of the revolutionary bundled-tube structural design Tube buildings gain most of their structural support from a rigid network of beams and columns in their outer walls The rigid outer walls act like the walls of a hollow tube The Sears Tower is actually a bundle of nine tubes and is considered one of the most efficient structures designed to withstand wind This is a great design for a skyscraper in Chicago the Windy City where the average wind speed is 16 miles per hour As the building climbs upward the tubes begin to drop off reducing the wind forces on the building The Towers heavy weight -- more than 440 million pounds -- is also supported by 114 piles sunk deep into the earth so that they stand firmly on hard solid bedrock In 1974 the Sears Tower in Chicago assumed the coveted title of worlds tallest building at 1454 feet It held this title for 22 years until 1998 when the decorative spires atop the Petronas Towers in Malaysia surpassed the Sears Tower by 33 feet Today the Sears Tower still boasts the tallest occupiable floor and the tallest skyscraper roof in the world Heres how this skyscraper stacks up against the biggest skyscrapers in the world height
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