One First National Plaza, First National Bank Building, Bank One Plaza
Structure in general
flat roof with 3+ boxes
- This is the tallest building in the "Loop proper" as defined by the loop in Chicago's elevated train tracks. The site is also the geographic center of the loop.
- The large terraced plaza south of the building is one of 3 major plazas between Clark and Dearborn Streets. See also Richard J. Daley Center and the Chicago Federal Center.
- The plaza is two levels deep, with several staircases and a large fountain at the bottom.
- The fountain in the plaza is formed by nine square tubes of water rising to varying heights (similar to the Sears Tower).
- A colorful mosaic by Marc Chagall titled "Four Seasons" is located on the mid-level terrace of the plaza.
- The building sweeps from a 200-foot wide base to 95 feet at the top. The east-west length is 300 feet.
- An unusual sensation can be experienced by placing a foot on one of the curving piers, then looking up to the top: this gives the illusion that it's possible to run up the building.
- First National Chairman Gaylord Freeman began construction of the building without building permits from Chicago City Hall.
- The building replaced six older skyscrapers, including the Morrison Hotel which was the tallest building ever demolished at the time.
- The old First National Bank Building remained standing until the bank moved into this building, then was torn down to build the plaza.
- The granite for the facade was quarried at Marble Falls, 50 miles northwest of Austin, Texas.
- Like the GE Building in New York City, this building is set behind a popular sunken plaza in the very heart of the business district. Both buildings also have the same height.
- Other skyscrapers with a similar shape include the Sompo Japan Head Office Building in Tokyo and the W.R. Grace Building and Solow Building in New York.
- The walls of the fifth-floor employee cafeteria are painted with an extensive mural by Karl Wirsum (famous for his whimsical firefly on Block 37) with abstract shapes resembling masks, bees, notes, machines, and flowers.
- U.S. President Barack Obama met his wife Michelle in this building in 1989 when both worked for the law firm Sidley & Austin.
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21 South Clark Street
Also recorded for this building:
Structural engineering, General contractor, Tenant, Escalator supplier, Facade supplier, Steel supplier, Concrete supplier
Features & Amenities
- One of the city's famous buildings
- Illuminated logo on the facade
- Plaza is available to the public