Chicago About to Lose Another Skyscraper Title

One of the great things about living in Chicago’s John Hancock Center (875 North Michigan Avenue) is the pool.  Sure, there are lots of skyscrapers in Chicago with their own pools, but the Hancock’s is different in three key ways:

  1. It’s inside, so you can use it all year
  2. It’s a real full-sized pool, not one of these decorative wading ponds that developers opt for these days
  3. It’s on the 44th floor

That third part is key, because if a Hancock Center resident brings a guest up to the residential floors (45-92), invariably the guest will ask, “Is this the world’s highest indoor pool?”

The John Hancock Center's 44th floor pool

The John Hancock Center’s 44th floor pool

Old timers will answer, “Yes, yes it is” with the same confidence today that they had when it first became true back in 1969.  If the record has been eclipsed since then, it’s hard to say.  In spite of efforts by a number of organizations, there really isn’t a global pool height registry.  Blame language barriers and the impossibility of keeping up with every new skyscraper being built in every country around the globe.

Construction on the Goldin Finance 117 (via Goldin Properties Holdings Limited)

Construction on the Goldin Finance 117 (via Goldin Properties Holdings Limited)

But soon the smartypantses among us will be able to counter with a definitive “No, no it’s not.”  That’s because a new skyscraper approaching completion is going to sport what will very likely be the world’s highest indoor pool, taking yet another title away from Chicago.

The building in question is the Goldin Finance 117.  And you’re not surprised at all to learn that it is in China.  The Tianjin tower, designed by P&T Group will have its pool on the 115th floor.

So what’s on the other two floors at the top of the 1,957-foot-tall tower?  Like the Hancock Center, a restaurant and observation deck.

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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