Skip to Content
Today Open today 11–8

7 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois, Perspective View




Adrian D. Smith (American, born 1944)
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (American, founded 1936)

About this artwork

This proposal for the heart of downtown Chicago, initiated by European-American Realty Ltd., sought to create the world’s tallest building. The mixed-use tower would have measured 2,000 feet in height, including the antenna. The proposed structure was to house a retail concourse, parking, offices, 250 residential units, and communications facilities.

Architect Adrian Smith of the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill led a team that proposed a rectangular steel and glass tower with curved corners. The design included six sections that step back as the building rises. The structure, a concrete tube down the center, forms a spine from which floors cantilever out some 20 to 30 feet. The entire top section would have been devoted to communications floors, mechanical systems, a cooling tower and the tuned mass damping system.

The development company decided not to proceed with this ambitious project because of financing difficulties.


Currently Off View


Architecture and Design


Adrian D. Smith (Architect)


7 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois, Perspective View


Chicago (Object designed in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Designed 1999


Black marker on yellow tracing paper


45 × 30 cm (17 3/4 × 11 13/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Adrian D. Smith

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions