Getty Image / SKatzenberger

The SkyDeck ledge of the Willis Tower cracks under visitors' feet

"There was a woman with two kids and they looked really pale and scared!"

June 12, 2019 - 4:06 pm

Many of us have made the short trek to Chicago, and visited one of the most famous buildings in the U.S.  The Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) has dominated the skyline of Chicago since 1973 and was the tallest building in the world for 25 years.  

But, a few unlucky tourists got quite a spook Monday when a protective layer covering the glass splintered into thousands of pieces.  

According the officials with the Willis Tower, nobody was ever in danger.  A similar break happened in 2014.

"There was a woman with two kids and they looked really pale and scared because the floor just cracked," an onlooker told our sister-station in Chicago, WBBM.

The protective coating is meant to keep the glass from scratching.  

The Willis Tower observation deck, called the Skydeck, opened on June 22, 1974. It is the highest observation deck in the United States and one of Chicago's most famous tourist attractions. Tourists can experience how the building sways in wind and see far over the plains of Illinois and across Lake Michigan to Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsinin clear conditions. 

In January 2009, a major renovation of the Skydeck was begun, including the installation of retractable glass balconies which extend approximately 4 feet overlooking South Wacker Drive. The boxesh can accommodate 5 short tons. 

While the Willis Tower says everything was safe, it had to be heart attack inducing for those standing on the ledge! 

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