When the Prudential Building was finished it had the highest roof in Chicago. Only the statue of Ceres on the Board of Trade rose higher.
The wall next to the main entrance shows a relief carving of the Rock of Gibraltar, the symbol of the Prudential Insurance Company designed by Alfonzo Ianelli.
One Prudential Plaza was built above and beyond office standards of the day and won numerous industry awards for its design.
Upon completion in 1955, the tower featured the world's fastest elevators.
When it opened the building included one of the largest parking facilities built within an office building in the world.
The facade is made of vertical strips of limestone and ridged aluminum.
Initial design schemes called for two symmetrically placed side masses at the lower floors; instead the western bustle was eliminated and the eastern one heightened to open the building towards Michigan Avenue.
The building had a public observation deck until a new generation of much taller skyscrapers made it obsolete.
By 1956 the observation deck had already attracted a million visitors.
Underneath the building is the Randolph Street terminal of the Metra Electric Line commuter railroad, serving the south side and south suburbs.
This was the first high-rise office building completed in Chicago since the LaSalle Bank Building in 1934.
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