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The Aon Center’s observation deck (and its glass elevators) have been approved by the city

By Marty Johnson

Chicago has no shortage of sky-high views of the city (see: Willis Tower's Skydeck and 360 Chicago) and it's about to gain another one. Last week, the City Council's Zoning Committee signed off on a $200 million observation deck to be built on top of the Aon Center, which was originally proposed in 2015.

Despite the already saturated market of observatories, the Aon Center will offer something that Willis Tower and 360 Chicago lack: a particularly prime location. Situated directly across the street from Millennium Park, one of Chicago's biggest tourist traps, the observation deck will allow for spectacular views of attractions such as the Bean and Lake Michigan. 

Unlike the city's other two high-altitude outlooks, the Aon Center's observation deck will be accessible via ride in a glass elevator (perfect for all of you who want to live out your Charlie and the Chocolate Factory fantasies). After arriving at the top, visitors can enjoy the views from the building's 82 and 83rd floors and have a meal at a family–friendly restaurant.

Those looking for even more of an adrenaline rush can experience Sky Summit, a daring thrill ride that will dangle visitors over the edge of the building in a glass-enclosed compartment. Just like 360 Chicago's Tilt attraction, Sky Summit will charge an additional fee on top of the Aon Center observatory's $25 admission.

Construction on the new observatory is scheduled to begin in June and is expected to last 18 months. Once completed, Chicago will become only the second American city to have three observation decks, which means you'll have plenty of options for entertaining visitors who aren't terrified of heights.

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