An imposing and sleek crystal slab of glass nearly 800' tall, the John Hancock Tower dominates the Back Bay skyline and the city of Boston.
Designed by Henry Cobb of PeiCobbFreed, the tower fronts the amazing H.H.Richardson Trinity Church. Cobb gave deference to the square and the church by using a parallelogram shape and placing the small axis in front.
The building, typical of the era, doesn't meet the street very well (unfortunately I don't have any photos), but as a sculptural object, it's spectacular.
During construction this tower had a number of problems. The minimal curtain wall design didn't appropriately address the wind conditions and over half of the tower's 10,000 glass panels fell out. There's a great photo in Carter Wiseman's book on Pei that shows the building shrouded in cardboard. The actual liability and details of the curtain wall issues (and who had to pay for what) were never released. A secondary issue that arose during construction was similar to the Citicorp Center in NYC, where the engineers realized the building could topple over in certain wind conditions. Even more scary, the weak axis was actually the short one! Additional bracing was added during construction to counteract this.
The building has an observation deck on the 60th floor, but I believe that the deck has been closed since 9/11.