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Chunk of Aluminum Falls Off Chicago High-Rise, No One Injured

By Greg Zimmerman Commercial Office Facilities
chicago hancock tower
Manfred Schmidt / shutterstock.com

Normally, Chicago winter brings warnings of falling ice from downtown buildings. But no one expects to have to keep a heads-up for a piece of a building itself. 

Thankfully, no one was injured after a huge chunk of aluminum fell off a downtown Chicago office building last week. A piece of cladding that covers the X-bracing at the building at 875 North Michigan (formerly known as the Hancock Tower) fell off the tower at about 3 pm on Wednesday (1/5) afternoon and landed on a planter near the street. 

The building's owner and manager, Hearn Company, said high winds caused the chunk to detach and fall. According to Block Club Chicago, the company released the following statement:  “Our engineers have inspected the adjacent panels and have indicated they are secure. A more detailed inspection of the façade will take place as soon as weather conditions permit.”  

This isn’t the first high-profile facility-related issue the building has had in recent years. In 2018, an elevator malfunction terrified passengers when it plunged 80 floors and then trapped occupants for several hours. 

Greg Zimmerman is editor, Building Operating Management magazine and FacilitiesNet.com


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