About the Observatory

This exciting redevelopment project will repurpose space at the top of the Aon Center into an observatory and restaurant. An external elevator system, the tallest and fastest in the country, will be built to service this new observatory. In addition, a family-friendly entertainment venue will be added to the lower level of the Aon Center.

These enhancements will transform a structure that has largely been used for office space into a vibrant destination, attracting an estimated two million visitors annually after a few years of operation, and generating more than $900 million in direct economic impact for the city of Chicago over 20 years.

  • Transform Aon Center into a word-class destination
  • Add major family-friendly attractions
  • Maintain the building’s financial health and iconic real estate status
  • Invest in Chicago for job generation and positive economic impact

Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd Ward) hosted a community meeting on May 14 about the project. The 601W team presented their proposed changes to the Aon Center and walked through the Observatory experience.

A Look at the Plans
The Experience
  • The new observation deck will provide panoramic views of Millennium Park, Lake Michigan and Chicago’s Loop that have been unavailable to the public until now.
  • Visitors will be able to enjoy these spectacular views as they ride the country’s tallest and fastest external elevator up 82 stories to the observatory. This double-deck elevator, located at the northwest corner of the building, is a structural engineering achievement in itself.
  • While at the top, guests will also be able to take advantage of a lounge, restaurant and special event space, and — for the daring — get on the Sky Summit, an experience ride that takes them over the edge of the Aon Center’s roof and right over Millennium Park.

If you would like to make comments or ask questions directly to Ald. Reilly, please go here.

Comments and Questions
601W Companies, the owner of the Aon Center, is leading the proposed redevelopment in collaboration with the following partners: