360 Chicago Views (formerly John Hancock Observatory)

On a clear day you can see forever. Or at least 20 to 40 miles from 360 Chicago, the 94th floor of the what used to be known as the John Hancock Observatory in Chicago’s John Hancock Center and is now named 360 Chicago. The 360 Chicago name describes the experience perfectly with miles and miles of city scenery and lakeshore beauty seen from over 1,000 feet in the sky on a mostly clear sky day.

lakefront 26

View North from 94th floor 360 Chicago along Lake Michigan.

John Hancock Center in Chicago at 1,127 ft. is the fourth tallest building in Chicago and the 7th tallest in the United States.

Chicago Downtown

View South of downtown Chicago shows the three taller buildings in Chicago from left to right. Aon Center at 1,136 ft. (center left of photo) is the 3rd largest tower. Trump International Hotel & Tower at 1,170 ft. (center right) is the second tallest building in Chicago. Willis Tower, formerly known as Sears Tower, stands at 1,450 ft. (far right).

View East

East view

Looking east to Navy Pier entertainment center and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Chicago with rides and the Smith Museum of Stained Glass. Lake Michigan and the shores of Michigan and Indiana can be seen.

West View

West view

Bounded by the lakefront, most of Chicago is situated to the west across the relatively flat prairie landscape.

U.S. Travel Association’s IPW convention (formerly known as International Pow Wow and renamed before a Redskins type debacle) kicked off on Sunday, April 6 with a media reception on the 94th and 95th floors of the John Hancock Center. IPW is a travel trade show designed to bring international visitors to the USA.

Tilt! is a new attraction for 360 Chicago, but unfortunately the project is still about two weeks from opening.

I was hoping to lean out and check out the DOWNtown scene.

Tilt Skywalk

Tilt! on 94th floor of 360 Chicago.


Tilt! has eight viewing spaces where visitors can stand and then the edge of the floor tilts out from the building letting you experience the sensation of leaning out from over 1,000 feet above Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.

Here is a video of Tilt! showing what the attraction will look like when it opens in a couple of weeks.

Normal admission price to 360 Chicago is $18 adult, $12 children. Tilt! is an additional ticket price.

The location and weather offered a great two hour experience for the IPW opening event. There was food from several Chicago restaurants and typical of press events, alcohol was served to get the day rolling early. Alcohol and Tilt! might not be the best combination, so perhaps it was a blessing the attraction was not open.

I was sitting at a table in the corridor of the west side of the 94th floor when a prominent Chicago public figure walked by and stopped to meet and greet me. So much for me drinking a Goose Island 312 Pale Ale beer inconspicuously as cameras were flashing and video was rolling.

Rahm Emanuel

Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago.

I am the photographer and not the well-dressed guy in front of Rahm. I would have died in the heat of the room if I had been wearing a suit.


  • Bob April 7, 2014

    I’m always amazed when people pay to go to the “Observatory” or now 360 Chicago Views. I’d much rather head two floors higher to the Signature Lounge and spend my money on a cocktail and enjoy “free” views.

  • Ric Garrido April 7, 2014

    Good tip for the Signature Room. The press event was on both the 94th and 95th floors. I spent most of my time in the Signature Room where it was less crowded, however, the restaurant was closed for the event with a special room arangement.

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