Tallest Buildings in Chicago: A Decade-by-Decade Visualization

Ask people about the tallest buildings in Chicago, and the conversation will turn quickly to architecture. Every new high-rise faces the pressure of fitting into the city’s iconic skyline.

So what did that process look like over time? In what context was each new building judged? We’ve cataloged the fifty tallest buildings in Chicago and plotted them chronologically.

Get a sense of what the skyline looked like as years passed, from a barren beginning in the 1930s to the dense, layered triumphs of modern architecture.

1930s

1930s chicago skyline

BuildingHeight (ft)FloorsYearRank
Chicago Board of Trade Building60544193041

1940s

1940s chicago skyline
No existing buildings built in the 1940s are among Chicago’s tallest buildings.

1950s

1950s

BuildingHeight (ft) FloorsYearRank
One Prudential Plaza60141195542 (tie)

1960s

1960s

BuildingHeight (ft) FloorsYearRank
1000 Lake Shore Plaza59055196447
Richard J. Daley Center64832196529
Lake Point Tower64570196831
John Hancock Center1,12710019694
Chase Tower85060196911

1970s

1970s

BuildingHeight (ft) FloorsYearRank
CNA Center60144197242 (tie)
Mid-Continental Plaza58349197250
Aon Center1,1368319733
330 North Wabash69552197320
Willis Tower1,45010819741
Water Tower Place8597419769

1980s

1980s

BuildingHeight (ft) FloorsYearRank
Three First National Plaza76757198115
Madison Plaza59944198245
One Magnificent Mile67357198325
Olympia Centre72563198619
Citigroup Center58842198749
Franklin Center North Tower1,0076119895
900 North Michigan8716619898
Leo Burnett Building63550198935
NBC Tower62737198937

1990s

1990s

BuildingHeight (ft) FloorsYearRank
Two Prudential Plaza9956419906
311 South Wacker Drive9616519907
181 West Madison Street68050199023
Chicago Place60849199140
Grant Thornton Tower75550199216
77 West Wacker Drive66849199227
Heller International Building60045199244

2000s

2000s

BuildingHeight (ft) FloorsYearRank
Park Tower84467200012
One North Wacker65250200128
River East Center64458200132
55 East Erie Street64756200330
Grand Plaza I64157200333
Millennium Centre61058200339
111 South Wacker Drive68151200522
Hyatt Center67948200524
The Heritage at Millennium Park63157200536
340 on the Park67264200726
The Clare58952200848
Trump International Hotel and Tower1,3899820092
Aqua85982200910
300 North LaSalle78460200914
One Museum Park72662200918
155 North Wacker63845200934
353 North Clark62444200938

2010s

2010s

BuildingHeight (ft) FloorsYearRank
The Legacy at Millennium Park82273201013
Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower74357201017
Waldorf Astoria Chicago68660201021
The Grant59554201046
OneEleven63059201436