Five years ago we had the opportunity to hang out of a broken 50th-floor window at the John Hancock Center (875 North Michigan Avenue). Naturally, we took a video and posted it on this blog. That was child’s play compared with the videos being posted on YouTube these days by a steeplejack (is that the right term?) going by the handle L1irnwrkr.
He’s working on a project to remove the top 100 feet of the western antenna atop the Hancock Center. That means he’s standing on a tiny platform 1,455 feet above the ground. To get a closer look at what he’s standing on, check out this article we published in 2012.
With the rapid changes in broadcasting these days, there has been a lot of work on the Hancock antennae. Some radio and TV stations are moving back to the Willis Tower, to the Aon Center, and even the Trump International Hotel and Tower is marketing its unwanted spire as a haven for broadcasters and others who need to give their transmissions a little boost.
Here’s a list of recent work on the Hancock antennae:
- New automatic transmitter switcher for WYCC
- WGBO antenna removed from east tower
- WLS-TV antenna removed from east tower
- WGN-TV antenna removed from west tower
- WFLD antenna removed from west tower
- Remove WBBM-TV antenna from west tower
- Remove two FLO-TV antennae from west tower
- Remove channel 2 antenna from east tower
- Remove channel 3 antenna from east tower
- Add a new WBEZ antenna on east tower
Can’t get enough? Here’s another video taken from Hancock’s west tower a year ago.
Amusingly, the video shows Mr. L1irnwrkr’s co-worker with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. Doesn’t he know how dangerous that is? Plus, I’m pretty sure that’s illegal, even though he has the best-ventilated workspace in the city.