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Chase Tower


Chase Tower
One First National Plaza, First National Bank Building, Bank One Plaza


Structure in General

existing [completed]
caisson foundation
curtain wall
light gray
flat roof with boxes


commercial office


  • 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.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama met his wife Michelle in this building in 1989 when both worked for the law firm Sidley & Austin.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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More Information


21 South Clark Street
51-99 West Madison Street, 2-26 South Dearborn Street
21 South Clark Street

Technical Data

850.01 ft
850.01 ft
850.01 ft

Involved Companies

C.F. Murphy Associates
Perkins & Will

C.F. Murphy Associates
concrete supplier, escalator supplier, facade supplier, general contractor, steel supplier, tenant

Features & Amenities

  • One of the city's famous buildings
  • Illuminated logo on the facade
  • Plaza is available to the public
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