Chicago's tallest building isn't just for tourists anymore thanks to Willis Tower's newly renovated outdoor park, lounge space and food hall, featuring a restaurant from one of the city's most beloved chefs.
While Skydeck Chicago and the Ledge's glass boxes remain premier spots for Chicago-area views, other parts of the tower were designed for locals to grab new, even free peeks of the city.
Catalog, described as a "five-level urban destination," boasts a "vast, elegantly curved skylight" as well as restaurants, retail and entertainment.
Dining options include the newly opened Tortazo from Michelin-star chef Rick Bayless, offering fast-casual Mexican flavors, from tortas to bowls to soups.
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Willis Tower's new park, the Outdoor Terrace, is open to everyone and feels like you’re in another world, with green spaces, walking paths and dining spots.
The building has a lot in store for these spaces with events and workout classes, with more information coming soon on their website.
The Skydeck itself underwent a multi-million-dollar renovation that includes Chicago-centric exhibits like an "L" car and "Second City" stage.
"The new Skydeck tells the story of Chicago—from the Great Chicago Fire to iconic city legends—and allows visitors to actively engage with our beloved home in a way that is wholly their own," said General Manager Randy Stancik. "From interactive and educational installations to fun, photo-worthy moments, guests of all ages, backgrounds and geographic locations will leave with a newfound connection to Chicago and the incredible memories of our unparalleled views."
Here's a sneak peek from Stancik and Skydeck:
- Beginning with "Origins," visitors will discover the history of Chicago; encounter the Great Chicago Fire; and walk through a glowing Chicago River tunnel, all while learning about the city during its formative years.
- The "Architecture" section showcases an interactive fly-through video tour of the city known for its skyline, ending at the iconic Willis Tower. Guests will then have the chance to pose next to floor-to-ceiling Tower antennas to capture the perfect social media shot.
- From there, visitors will hop aboard a full-scale 'L' train replica and tour a plethora of vibrant Chicago neighborhoods by viewing the windows' pass-through video displays.
- Moving further into the experience, visitors will encounter a true "Taste of Chicago" and can strike a pose on the larger-than-life deep-dish pizza platform or grab a seat on the nine-foot long, Chicago-style hot dog bench.
- In the "Characters" and "Streetscapes" areas, guests will have the opportunity to tell jokes on a Second City stage, interact with Chicago's performing arts scene and pose with Chicago icons and landmarks, such as Michael Jordan and the legendary Wrigley Field marquee.
- The lower-level experience culminates with "Urban Playground," leaving visitors with a lasting impression of what makes the energetic metropolis so extraordinary.