Skyscraper living
June 27, 2008 12:51 AM   Subscribe

Do people still live in The Sears tower in chicago? or any other skyscapers?

I remember an article in Time Magazine or something similar about apartments so high up that they would occasionally sway from the force of strong winds, but a search of Chic. listings produced nothing. I am intrigued with the idea of living high above the ground.

Post script: This is a question from a person who is honestly inquiring and means no harm.
posted by longsleeves to Home & Garden (20 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I don't think anyone ever lived in the Sears Tower. But people did and do live in the John Hancock building - supposedly the highest building in the world for apartments. I got to stay there one night with friends, in a flat close to the top of the building (I can't recall, but maybe only ten or fifteen floors below the top floor one could actually enter.) And, yes, the building does sway a little, which was the only fun thing about it, as it was a rainy and windy day and I couldn't see much of anything from the window. It wasn't terribly noticeable, but you could sort of feel it. I would imagine a child's tree house sways even more. I wouldn't want to live there for any reason, except for the view - when there's a clear day. The flat was owned by a friend's company and it was sort of an uncomfortable place. I heard it was very expensive. The elevator was fast but still took a while to get there.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 1:22 AM on June 27, 2008

Indeed, Wikipedia says than the John Hancock Center has "about 700 condominiums and contains the highest residences in the world".
posted by stereo at 1:40 AM on June 27, 2008

Define skyscrapers. How many stories would meet your needs? There are lots and lots of 30 and 40+ story buildings in Chicago with residences, and they're building a coupla "world's tallests" (watch out-inspiring music) right now. (apologies for Trump's really annoying website, starting with the picture of Ivanka)
posted by nax at 3:39 AM on June 27, 2008

One of the Liberty Towers In Philly has luxury apartments on the top floors.
posted by Blandanomics at 3:54 AM on June 27, 2008

The Turning Torso is the second tallest residential building in Europe at 190m and 54 stories.
posted by patricio at 4:14 AM on June 27, 2008

I've visited an apartment near the top of Metropolitan Tower in NYC a few times, and have spent time on its rooftop observation deck (which, I'm told, is the highest private observation deck in NYC). I don't remember noticing any significant swaying, but it was pretty awesome being up there.
posted by ecab at 4:59 AM on June 27, 2008

I meant to include a link to Metropolitan Tower.
posted by ecab at 5:00 AM on June 27, 2008

Not built yet, but new condos are going up all over Toronto in the 50+ storey range:
posted by twiki at 5:58 AM on June 27, 2008

On preview: darn, that Trump's a busy guy - Toronto and Chicago at the same time? Sheesh.
posted by twiki at 6:00 AM on June 27, 2008

The Chicago Spire, if it gets built, will be a residential building.
posted by sugarfish at 6:26 AM on June 27, 2008

Trump's become a brand-name as much as anything else. Not everything with the name "Trump" is necessarily owned, operated, or funded by Donald Trump or his companies. Sometimes people pay his company money to attach the name to their endeavor.
posted by explosion at 6:28 AM on June 27, 2008

Correction: I guess it is under construction right now.
posted by sugarfish at 6:28 AM on June 27, 2008

All skyscrapers sway. They're designed to. I imagine if they didnt then they would have some serious problems.
posted by damn dirty ape at 6:39 AM on June 27, 2008

People are already moving into the uncompleted Trump Tower in Chicago. I know people who live in the Hancock building (93rd floor!) and are in the business of buying their neighboring condos, making them ultra-modern, and reselling them at incredibly high prices.
posted by phunniemee at 7:45 AM on June 27, 2008

It doesn't take much for a building to sway. The Houston House Apartments are only 30 stories and during a storm the whole place creaked and rocked just enough to notice in high winds - as it's supposed to.
posted by GPF at 8:32 AM on June 27, 2008

I lived on the 63rd floor (~2/3 up) of the Hancock for awhile. It was nice (great views), but a little odd: fairly low ceilings, windows opening only an eighth of an inch, and - yep - the swaying.

When I first moved in, I would regularly feel quite weird walking down the hallway. Dark and narrow there, it seemed spooky and otherworldly, like something out of The Shining.

Once I realized the building was actually moving, this pretty much went away : )

The oddest part, really, is that it takes about eight minutes to go outside. You take two elevators to get to the upper residential floors, including an express elevator from the ground to about the 45th. The express elevator, though, is super-fast and perfect for doing that jump-at-the-end-and-fall-down thing.

Tangentially: I was once on the express down with Jerry Springer. We nodded to each other, and rode down in silence. I still regret not asking, "Hey, Jerry - want to jump?"
posted by asuprenant at 9:28 AM on June 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

We lived for several years near the top of San Francisco's Fox Plaza, a 30 story office/residential tower on one of the windiest corners in town (9th/Hayes and Market). On windy days, our living room would frequently swing... nothing violent or even unsettling, but certainly enough that you could see it in the water of the fishbowl, or when you looked at the ground from the balcony (or the bridge in the distance... but it moves too).

It takes a little longer for the building to stop moving after earthquakes, too.

Back in the 1990s, I knew someone who (illegally) converted a rented office at Montgomery and California into something of a crash pad -- complete with efficiency kitchen and full bathroom... but he used it as a place to go when he wanted to stay late (or get drunk) in The City, and not deal with his commute back to his bedroom community.
posted by toxic at 9:34 AM on June 27, 2008

I have friends with a place in the Hancock building, on the 66th. I'll definitely confirm the swaying. On the windiest, stormiest days, the chandelier would swing wildly and you could hear the building creak. In their place, at least, what was wild was that you could actually open a few of the windows all the way -- they swung out, were about 6 feet tall, and had no screens.

For what it's worth, the express elevator takes you to the 44th floor, which is where the pool/condo offices/mailroom/etc. are; the residential spaces are from 45, up.

And, funny that you mention your story about Jerry Springer, asuprenant -- I too once shared an elevator with him in the same building!
posted by penchant at 12:11 PM on June 27, 2008

Also: the residential address of the Hancock building is 175 E. Delaware Place, not 875 N. Michigan. I'd not be surprised if any real estate listings only list the residential street address and not the building name itself.
posted by penchant at 12:13 PM on June 27, 2008

Best answer: FWIW

If you want to get all searchy with it, there was an article in National Geographic back in the 70s about people living in the Hancock. I remember them talking about the sway,
posted by timsteil at 10:59 PM on June 27, 2008

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