Well known in Chicagoland, but not so well known elsewhere, the Aon Center is the quiet, dignified supertall in the Chicago skyline. It lacks the flashy spires of Sears and Hancock, and instead goes for vertical stripes to add extra visual height to its already impressive stature. From a distance, the building feels like another boring grey 1970's stone block. But to really appreciate the Aon Center, you have to walk right up to it and crane your neck to see the top. Fortunately, this is possible thanks to a sunken plaza in front of the building with some rather extensive fountain work. This creates an area that is a pleasure for people on hot summer days, while at the same time protects the building from would-be truck bombers. Height and location give the Aon Center's tenants remarkable views in all directions. People facing south look over Grant Park; people with west-facing windows can look at The Loop; people with eastern exposures are treated to Lake Michigan sunrises and boating activities; and people on the northern face get to look up the Magnificent Mile and the Chicago coastline. But the news hasn't always been bright for the Aon Center. In fact, it has been routinely maligned in the print media. At first, critics called the building's design bland and uninspired. Later, things started going wrong with the building. Most famously, just after the building was completed, its famed marble facade began to buckle. Stainless steel straps were wrapped around the building to keep any large chunks from falling off. It was all replaced with white granite at a cost of $60,000,000.00 -- half what it cost to build the tower in the first place. That left the owners with 5,900 tons of unwanted marble. Some was turned into trinkets like paperweights. Some was donated to a company that makes trophies. A lot was used in landscaping at Governors State University, and at Amoco facilities across the nation.
- Construction start: 1970
- Construction finish: 1972
- Designed by: Edward Durell Stone & Associates and Perkins and Will Corporation
- Cost: $120,000,000
- Type: Skyscraper
- Stories: 83
- Maximum Height: 1,136 feet / 346 meters
- Stories above ground: 83
- Stories below ground: 5
- Rentable floor space: 2,700,000
- 1972: Construction completed.
- 1973: The Sears Tower surpasseed this building as the tallest building in Chicago.
- 1974: A slab of the marble facade came off the building and plunged through the roof of the Prudential Center Annex.
- 1989-1992: All 43,000 marble panels comprising the building's facade were replaced with granite from North Carolina. The marble panels were buckling and coming loose because of the harsh Chicago winters. It cost between $60- and $80,000,000 to replace all the stone.
- November, 1991: A routine inspection found that two steel columns in the building's lobby had to be reinforced. The Chicago Tribune reported that although building officials say there is no danger, additional steel plates are welded to the columns in question.
- 1998: This building was sold. The exact price was never made public, but estimated to be between $430,000,000 and $440,000,000.
- January 1, 2001: The building's name was changed to Aon Center.
- May, 2003 : The Aon Center was sold for $465,000,000.00.
- March, 2007: A plan emerged to convert the top 13 stories of this tower to residential apartments or condominiums.
- September, 2010: This building was named #20 on Chicago Magazine's list of the Top 40 Buildings in Chicago.
- July, 2015: This building was bought by Piedmont Office Realty Trust for $712 million.
(Credit; Chicago Architecture)
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Scanned : Photogrammetry (Processed using Agisoft PhotoScan)