Three Iconic Chicago Buildings Everyone Should Visit

Aerial shot of Chicago from the observatory at Sears Tower

In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire ripped through the city. During two days, an estimated 17,500 buildings were destroyed. The city that exists today rose from the ashes to become one of the most celebrated architectural destinations in the country. For both tourists and locals, these are three iconic buildings in Chicago that everyone should visit.

The Chicago Water Tower

Built in 1869, the Chicago Water Tower is one of the few structures that survived the fire, as well as the only pre-fire building that’s still standing. In fact, the tower was built to hold lake water to help put out fires. Its castle-inspired design and limestone construction make the Chicago Water Tower a symbol of both the old city and Chicago’s rebirth.

Merchandise Mart

When it was first built in 1930, this iconic structure was the largest building in the world, with over 4 million square feet of floor space. It was so big that, until 2008, the Merchandise Mart had its own zip code. This beautiful art deco structure sits at the confluence of two branches of the Chicago River and is especially impressive at night when the entire building is illuminated.

Willis Tower

Willis Tower, originally known as the Sears Tower, is the Chicago building. The iconic skyscraper was completed in 1973. At nearly 1500 feet tall, Willis Tower was the tallest building in the world for 25 years and the tallest in the U.S. until 2014. Offering unparalleled views of the city and Lake Michigan, its Skydeck draws 1.7 million tourists each year.

This list offers just a small sample of Chicago’s many iconic buildings. If you want to take it all in, a private car is the best way to travel across the city. Echo Limousine is Chicago’s premier car service, offering vehicles for parties of every size, from Lincoln Town Cars to charter buses. We also provide transportation to suburbs like Oak Park, where architecture aficionados can see a collection of famous buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. To book a private car, text or call (773) 774-1074 or make your reservation online.