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The Aon Center’s stunning observatory and terrifying exterior elevators will open in 2022

The Aon Center’s stunning observatory and terrifying exterior elevators will open in 2022
Illustration: Courtesy 601W

Chicagoans have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of the Aon Center’s $185 million observation deck since it was first announced in 2015 and for good reason: Its vertiginous thrills will likely make the Willis Tower Skydeck and 360 CHICAGO seem tame by comparison. While plans for the Aon Center’s aerie received approval from the City Council at the end of 2018, it’s only now that a construction schedule and anticipated opening date have been announced. Work will commence during the third quarter of this year with a ribbon cutting slated for sometime in 2022.

Will it be worth the wait? You betcha. Visitors will enter a brand-new 9,000-square-foot street-level pavilion before getting on elevators that will rise along outside of the building. Did we mention that they’re made of glass? There’s that, too. Once people get to the top, they’ll have the option of taking a spin on the Sky Summit, a gondola that dangles riders over the edge of the roof for 30 to 40 seconds.

Formerly known as the Standard Oil Building and the Amoco Building, the 1,136-foot-tall Aon Center was completed in 1973, and is currently Chicago’s third largest structure. However, it will be bumped to fourth place once the Jeanne Gang designed Vista Tower is completed this fall. Still, think of all that the terror-inducing fun, not to mention a convenient location near Millennium Park—where the faint of heart might want to hang out while their braver friends go off to enjoy the ride. Take a look at what the breathtaking new observation deck will look like when it opens in 2022.

Illustration: Courtesy 601W

Illustration: Courtesy 601W

Illustration: Courtesy 601W

Illustration: Courtesy 601W

Illustration: Courtesy 601W

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