The Permit That Makes You Proud to be a Chicagoan

If you’ve ever lived for a time in a city like Seattle, or Los Angeles, or Phoenix, you may have noticed that in spite of all the movies and TV shows showcasing Chicago, outlanders don’t get that our town has huge buildings that put their withered downtowns to shame.

So it’s nice every once in a while to see confirmation of our superior status in print. And not just in some blog or hopelessly glossy magazine. But in real, bona-fide gub’mint black-and-white. So here it is:

233 S. Wacker Dr. Permit issued for elevator equipment Repair Water Damage To One (1) 10,000lb.cap, 103 Floors, 100 Stop, EG, Service/Freight Elevator # F 3. Components To Replace; 2 DMC PC Boards. 2 STOC PC Boards, Infrared Door Protection,And ROL Unint. Pursuant To The Scope Of Work Submitted.EV007140
View of Willis Tower from roof of 933 W. Van Buren.

View of Willis Tower from roof of 933 W. Van Buren.

Obviously, it’s a work permit for repairs to an elevator at Willis Tower. But not just any elevator. One that has to travel 103 STORIES, and make 100 STOPS on the way. Where else in America does that happen? Well, two places in Chicago (Willis Tower, and the John Hancock Center), and one place in New York (the Empire State Building).

Right now, Los Angeles is basking in the media spotlight for its new tallest-in-the-west Wilshire Grand Center. Even though we’re going to see it featured in movies and TV shows ad nauseam simply because it’s next door to Hollywood, remember that the Wilshire Grand’s elevators can only go 73 floors. Put in Chicago terms, that’s Legacy at Millennium Park territory — just the 13th tallest in our fair city.

Location: 233 South Wacker Drive, The Loop

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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