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Skydeck upgrades would let visitors rappel from 103rd floor of Willis Tower

Written by
Jonathan Samples

A second floor, an open-air ledge and an attraction that would let visitors rappel from the 103rd story of the Willis Tower Skydeck are all included in a proposed $20 million renovation of the famous tourist spot. A recent report from Morningstar Credit Ratings obtained by Crain's outlined the planned expansion of the Skydeck, which would be part of a more than $500 million renovation of the skyscraper.

One of the more ambitious plans for the popular observatory is the installation of an enclosed, two-story glass structure, where daring visitors could rappel from the 103rd floor to the 102nd. If the idea of dangling from a rope more than 1,300 feet above the ground is a bit too extreme for you, a proposed Ledgewalk might be more your style. Visitors would be fitted with a safety harness and allowed to take a stroll on an outdoor glass ledge.

Blackstone Group, which owns the Willis Tower (still the Sears Tower in some people’s hearts), is also considering an enclosed glass staircase between the two floors of the expanded observatory, as well as additional food and retail options at the Skydeck. Paula Chirhart, a spokeswoman for the company, told Crain's that any possible changes to the Skydeck are still in the planning stages.

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