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The Aon Center (200 East Randolph Street, formerly Amoco Building) is a modern skyscraper in Chicagomarker, Illinoismarker, United Statesmarker, designed by architect firms Edward Durell Stone and The Perkins and Will partnership, and completed in 1973 as the Standard Oil Building. With 83 floors and a height of 1,136 feet (346 m), it is the third tallest building in Chicago, surpassed in height by the Willis Towermarker and the Trump International Hotel and Towermarker. The building is managed by Jones Lang LaSalle.


The Aon Center.
The Standard Oil Building was constructed as the new headquarters of the Standard Oil Company of Indiana, which had previously been housed at South Michigan Avenue and East 9th Street. When it was completed in 1973 it was the tallest building in Chicago and the fourth-tallest in the world, earning it the nickname "Big Stan". (A year later, the Sears Towermarker took the title as Chicago's and world's tallest.) The building employs a tubular steel-framed structural system with V-shaped perimeter columns to resist earthquakes, reduce sway, minimize column bending, and maximize column-free space. This construction method was also used for the World Trade Centermarker towers in New York Citymarker.

When completed, it was the world's tallest marble-clad building, being sheathed entirely with 43,000 slabs of Italian Carrara marblemarker. The marble used was thinner than previously attempted in cladding a building; this quickly proved to be a mistake. In 1974, just a year after completion, one of the marble slabs detached from the fa├žade and penetrated the roof of the nearby Prudential Center Annex. Further inspection found numerous cracks & bowing in the marble cladding of the building. To alleviate the problem, stainless steel straps were added to hold the marble in place. Later, from 1990 to 1992, the entire building was refaced with Mount Airymarker white granite at an estimated cost of over $80 million. (Amoco was reticent to divulge the actual amount, but it was well over half the original price of the building, without adjustment for inflation.) The discarded marble was crushed and used as landscaping decoration at Amoco's refinery in Whiting, Indianamarker. The building's facade now somewhat resembles that of the World Trade Centermarker due to the upward flow of the columns.

The Standard Oil Building was renamed the Amoco Building when the company changed names in 1985. In 1998, Amoco sold the building to The Blackstone Group for an undisclosed amount, estimated to be between $430 and $440 million. It was renamed as the Aon Center on December 30, 1999, although the Aon Corporation would not become the building's primary tenant until September 2001. In May 2003, Wells Real Estate Investment Trust, Inc. acquired the building for between $465 and $475 million.(On August 10, 2007, Wells Real Estate Investment Trust, Inc. changed its name to Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc.)

Looking up

Exterior lighting

In the early 1980s, the lights in selected offices in the building were turned on to form a huge cross during the Christmas season. In recent years, the top floors of the building have been lit at night with colors to reflect a particular season or holiday. Orange is used for Thanksgiving, green or red for Christmas, and pink during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The lighting commonly matches the nighttime lighting on the antenna of Willis Tower, the John Hancock Center and the upper floors of the Merchandise Martmarker.


In the plaza, there is a Sounding Sculpture by Harry Bertoia.


Position in Chicago's skyline

See also


  1. " Contact Us." AON Corporation. Retrieved on January 31, 2009.
  2. " Chicago." SkyTeam. Retrieved on January 31, 2009.
  3. " Strata Decision Technology Chicago Office Relocates." Retrieved on February 24, 2009.
  4. { Chicago Tribune]

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