The Chicago Water Tower is a property in the Old Chicago Water Tower District landmark district. It is located at 806 North Michigan Avenue along the Magnificent Mile shopping district in the Near North Side community of Chicago, Illinois. The tower was constructed to house a large water pump, intended to draw water from the Lake Michigan; it now serves as a Chicago Office of Tourism art gallery.
The tower gained prominence after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. While some incorrectly believe that the tower was the only building to survive the fire, a few other buildings in the burned district survived along with the tower. The tower was the only public building in the burned zone to survive, and is one of just a few of the surviving structures still standing.
Sears Tower (now known as Willis Tower) is a 108-story, 1,451-foot skyscraper in Chicago, Illinois. At the time of its completion in 1973, it was the tallest building in the world, surpassing the World Trade Center towers in New York, and it held this rank for nearly 25 years. The Sears Tower is the tallest building in the United States and the seventh-tallest freestanding structure in the world. The skyscraper is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Chicago, and over one million people visit its observation deck each year. In March 2009, London-based insurance broker Willis Group Holdings agreed to lease a portion of the building, and obtained the building’s naming rights. On July 16, 2009, the building was officially renamed the Willis Tower.
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