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The Sears Tower is a supertall skyscraper in Chicago, Illinois, and the tallest building in the United States since 1973. By the measurement from the ground to the top of the antenna/spire it is the tallest building in the world; it surpassed World Trade Center in this capacity by 58 cm (1.9 ft) via a short extension being installed on one of Sears' antennas on June 5, 2000. By all other measures (official height, roof height, and highest occupied floor) the Sears Tower was always taller than the World Trade Center. Commissioned by Sears, Roebuck and Company, it was designed by chief architect Bruce Graham and structural engineers Srinivasa "Hal" Iyengar and Fazlur Khan of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Moreover, it is also taller than the Petronas Twin Towers, Malaysia when considering either the height to roof, or the height to pinnacle point. By either of these measures, the Sears Tower was only surpassed by the Taipei 101 in 2004.

Construction commenced in August 1970 and the building reached its originally anticipated maximum height on May 3, 1973. When completed, the Sears Tower had overtaken the roof of the World Trade Center in New York City as the world's tallest building. The tower has 108 stories as counted by standard methods, though the building owners count the main roof as 109 and the mechanical penthouse roof as 110. The distance to the roof is 442 m (1,450 ft 7 in), measured from the east entrance.

In February 1982, two television antennas were added to the structure, increasing its total height to 520 m (1,707 ft). The western antenna was later extended to 527 m (1,729 ft) on June 5, 2000 to improve reception of local NBC station WMAQ-TV.

Two-story high black bands appear on the tower around the 30th–32nd, 64th–65th, 88th–89th, and 106th–107th floors. These are louvers which allow ventilation for service equipment and obscure the structure's belt trusses which Sears Roebuck did not want to be visible as on the John Hancock Center. The Sears Tower has the most total floor space of any building in the United States only behind The Pentagon.

The building's official address is 233 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60606.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sears_Tower

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Additional Photos by Jurgita Lukoseviciene (jmorkute) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 12 W: 0 N: 41] (264)
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