360 Chicago — Rebranded Observation Deck Debuts in Chicago

Visitors to Chicago now have an updated attraction to visit on the City’s Magnificent Mile, the newly rebranded 360 CHICAGO, formerly the John Hancock Observatory.

In 2012, Paris-based Montparnasse Group 56 purchased the 94th floor attraction, renamed it, and began its plans for rebranding and updating the observation deck. Working with BRC Imagination Arts, the design consultant; Peter Provost from Provost Studio; Gensler Architects and Chicago Scenic’s team; Montparnasse 56 and the local Chicago 360 team collaborated on the design-build project that reimagined the concourse level’s entrance.

Today, the 200-foot-long passage leading to the elevators combines brief history lessons, quotes from famous celebrities, and an introduction to eight of Chicago’s culturally unique neighborhoods.

Videos, photographs, music, and text all provide information about the City, adds Jean Burch, one of Chicago Scenic’s project managers who was part of the team that helped create the concourse level exhibit. Photos of Chicago sports teams and stadiums, iconic food like Chicago-style hot dogs and pizza, and Chicago-style jazz and blues all contribute to the message that visitors see and hear as they head toward the elevators. Mirrors and reflective surfaces throughout the concourse allow guests to picture themselves as part of the city.

Bethany Fleming served as the exhibit development curator, developing content, selecting photographs, and writing accompanying text. The exhibit also includes four videos, provided by Chicago’s convention and tourism group Choose Chicago, that highlight Chicago’s neighborhoods. Another video, “The Making of Chicago”, was created by media producer Silver Oaks, and captures historically significant events from the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 all the way up to the Blackhawks’ recent 2015 Stanley Cup victory.

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