The Willis Tower (formerly named, and still commonly referred to as the Sears Tower), is a 108-story 1451 ft skyscraper in Chicago, Illinois. Designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill 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 Willis Tower is the tallest building in the United States and the fifth-tallest freestanding structure in the world, as well as the fifth tallest building in the world to the roof.
Although Sears’ naming rights expired in 2003, the building continued to be called the Sears Tower for several years. 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.
VDA is providing consulting services for quality control evaluations and code inspections of 101 elevators.
In January 2009, the Willis Tower owners began a major renovation of the Skydeck, to include the installation of glass balconies, extending approximately four feet over Wacker Drive from the 103rd floor. The all-glass boxes allow visitors to look through the floor to the street 1,353 ft below. The boxes, which can bear five short tons of weight (about 4.5 metric tons), opened to the public on July 2, 2009.