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Skywalk for the Hancock Tower?

Ever wanted to know what it might be like to fly? If yes, then take a trip to the Sears Tower in Chicago! Climb your way up to the 103rd floor and experience what it’s like to walk 1353 feet in the air while walking on the Skywalk. Made up of several  glass boxes that jut out of the building, each box can hold up to 4 or 5 people. Each box rests on conveyer belts that can retract or push out, allowing for easy access for cleaning maintenance.

Now for the bigger question is. Why can’t the Hancock Tower have something similar? Although, not as tall as the Sears Tower and currently closed to the public – minor setbacks – the Hancock Tower does have an observatory that offers sweeping views of the city. If similar skyboxes were installed on the Hancock Tower it could offer Boston a new type of tourist attraction. What do you think? Would you want a skywalk in Boston?

 

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8 Responses to “Skywalk for the Hancock Tower?”

  1. Chris Says:

    Yes. Absolutely.

  2. Rey Says:

    Seriously, SHIFTboston? What a terrible thing to do to any iconic modernist design.

  3. Tiffany K Says:

    Yes, the Hancock Tower should have a cool, new skywalk!

  4. kyle Says:

    Yes, I think that would be fantastic for all to experience.

  5. Steve Says:

    Maybe. But first, the closure of the existing skywalk is NOT a minor issue. It’s a crazy-stupid “security” decision that only showcases Boston provincialism. Let’s reopen the Skywalk first, let’s see how well it functions, and THEN let’s talk about whether we want to alter the Pei design, which shouldn’t be done lightly.

    Better, if less sexy intervention: Sweep hodgepodge of antennae off the roof, install uniform, beautifully DESIGNED replacements, and let everyone lease space on those. Honestly, why isn’t this this required of every building over, say, 30 stories?

  6. Steve Says:

    Maybe. But first, the closure of the existing skywalk is NOT a minor issue. It’s a crazy-stupid “security” decision that only showcases Boston provincialism. Let’s reopen the Skywalk first, let’s see how well it functions, and THEN let’s talk about whether we want to alter the Pei design, which shouldn’t be done lightly.

    Better, if less sexy intervention: Sweep the hodgepodge of antennae off the roof, install uniform, beautifully DESIGNED replacements, and let everyone lease space on those. Honestly, why isn’t this this required of every building over, say, 30 stories?

  7. kim Says:

    This article and all of the comments above have been sent to Normandy Real Estate Partners, the current owner of Boston’s John Hancock Tower.

    We will see what they have to say.

    *City councilor John Tobin asked the new owners of the John Hancock Tower to REOPEN its observation deck in 2009. It was only temporarily closed after 9/11.

    article:
    http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2009/04/02/new_hancock_tower_owner_urged_to_reopen_observation_deck/

  8. skywalkfan Says:

    As a long term resident of Chicago and supporter of historic preservation, I was very skeptical of the initial proposal to alter Fazlur Khan’s muscular and iconic Sears Tower.

    The choice to hire SOM for this project, who felt the pressure to rise to greatness on this in order to uphold their own history and reputation, was crucial.

    The execution of these glass boxes within the existing structural bays and their placement on the least-viewed elevation of the building makes these as minimally intrusive as possible. A similar approach could be taken on the South Elevation of Cobb’s Hancock Tower. Or perhaps the “slot” on the West Elevation could provide a similar opportunity. But that should be for Cobb & Pei, et. al. to decide.

    As a result of installing “The Ledge” in Chicago, this project has re-invigorating this space within the Sears Tower for thousands of new (and home-grown, returning) visitors. And if gauged by the National Park Service’s Standards for Rehabilitation, this alteration — confined to its select structural bays — is also easily reversible without compromising the original form of the building.

    SOM project site:
    http://www.som.com/content.cfm/sears_tower_observation_deck

 

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