Originally Posted by Chicago103
I have three questions regarding exact elevations in relation to the Sears Tower. I can guess all of them having been there many times but I am curious if anyone has blueprints or knowledge of exact figures.
1.) What is the height difference between upper and lower Wacker Drives in front of the Sears Tower (i.e. between Adams and Jackson)?
2.) What is the height of the upper Wacker Drive entrance above the surface of the Chicago River closest to the tower (i.e. between the Adams and Jackson street bridges)?
3.) What is the total height of the rise of the Skydeck elevators, the elevators go from Lower Level 2 to the 103rd floor (I know it is 1,353 from the street to the 103rd floor)?
I found a few partial answers myself:
#1 The height difference between lower and upper Wacker Drives in the double deck portions is 18 feet 6 inches, this is from street slab to street slab.
#2 Having visited Quincy Park on the Chicago River in front of the Sears Tower I can guess. I know it is 18 feet down to the Lower Wacker Drive level and then about 4 feet down a small landing of stairs to the pedestrian walkway right next to the river and then 5-7 feet down to the water level itself (depending on variable level of river due to water discharge from Water Reclamation District, etc.). So that comes out to 27-29 feet difference from the Chicago River to the sidewalk of upper Wacker Drive in front of the tower, in other word's it is 1,380 feet (give or take a few feet) from the Chicago River to the 103rd floor Skdeck.
Also as a reference point the Trump Tower's Wabash Drive entrance is 27 feet higher than the riverside promenade level (where the measurement for the whole building comes from), to the waterline it would thus be about 33 feet below Wabash. This is higher than the difference with Sears because Wabash Street slopes upwards a few feet once it crosses north of the river, you can tell this when you visit Tump Tower.
#3 I know that Lower Level 3 of Sears is 43 feet below street level, so given that the express elevators are on Lower Level 2 that should be at about 29 feet below street level or the total rise in the express elevators from there to 103 would be about 1,382 feet. Then again I am not sure if the 43 feet measurement is from Franklin Street or Wacker Drive, of which there is a four foot difference.