After eight matchups and 16 contenders we have narrowed our list down to the Elite Eight! With a mix of POMO, modernism, and contemporary architecture, the Elite Eight will be a heated round of eliminations, sending four towers home while advancing Chicago’s Final Four as voted by all of you!

Here are our contenders for today:


(5) John Hancock Center

John Hancock CenterSOM


875 N. Michigan

Height: 1,128 feet

Floors: 100

Constructed: 1965-1969

Architect: Skidmore Owings Merrill (SOM)

Developer: John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company

John Hancock CenterSOM

Now known at 875 North Michigan Ave (another name changer), the building was the world’s first mixed-use tower, containing office space on the lower floors, residential units on the upper floors, and an observation deck and restaurant at the top. The skyscraper’s tapered shape was chosen to match the different floor space requirements of the different uses. The facade uses an exterior diagonal tube structural system, sometimes referred to as a diagrid, to support the building.


(10) NEMA Chicago

NEMA ChicagoRafael Vinoly Architects


1210 S. Indiana

Height: 893 feet

Floors: 76

Constructed: 2017-2019

Architect: Rafael Vinoly Architects

Developer: Crescent Heights

NEMA ChicagoRafael Vinoly Architects

As Chicago’s tallest rental residence, NEMA Chicago has been designed to resonate with the best of Chicago School architecture and complement the skyline of towers along Grant Park. Similar to the Willis Tower, the structure uses a bundled tube configuration of nine steel tubes with concrete walls extending to the perimeter for wind protection. Recently completed in 2019, the building has 800 apartments and 70,000 square feet of amenities. 

R.I.P. Rafael Vinoly 1944-2023


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