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The Aon Center is getting an observatory

Written by
Clayton Guse

One of the best views in Chicago will soon be open to the public. 

The new owner of the Aon Center, New York-based firm 601W Cos., is planning on building a observatory on the top two floors of the 83-story tower, according to Crain's Chicago Business. The "multi-level entertainment center" will offer unobstructed views of Millennium Park and the lakefront, and will be the third observatory in the city, joining the Willis Tower's Skydeck and the John Hancock Center's 360 Chicago.

Chicago will join New York as the only other city in North America with three skyscraper observatories. Even with two other competitors in town, don't expect Aon Center's observatory to struggle. While it's not as tall as the Willis Tower or as sexy as the Hancock, its eastern, park side location expects to offer an experience and view that's unique from the other two towers. The 82nd-story space plans to contain a restaurant and bar space, so visitors will be able to get tipsy off of expensive drinks while taking in the spectacular view. 

The Aon Center, formerly known as the Standard Oil Building and later the Amoco Building, is the third-tallest building in Chicago at 1,136 feet. It was the second-tallest building in town until 2008 when the Trump Tower topped out. When it was completed in 1973, it was the tallest marble-clad building in the world. Today, its exterior isn't even made of marble—it was replaced with granite in the early 1990s after a huge chunk of the façade fell through the roof of the adjacent Prudential Center.

There isn't a projected opening date for the observatory, but it could take more than a year to finalize the plans and get approval from the city. 

Here's are some views you can expect to see once the observatory opens:


A photo posted by Evan Brown (@evanbrownphoto) on


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