PaintSquare.com
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram
Search the site

 

Download our FREE eResource: Specifier's Choice Guide. Get it now.

Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Above Chicago, Cracking on the Ledge

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

More items for Coating Materials

Comment | More

The sound and sight of protective coatings cracking at the top of America's tallest building has left visitors shaken, but officials insist the failure held no danger.

The episode Wednesday (May 28) terrified tourists on the 103rd-floor glass ledge of Chicago's Willis Tower (formerly, and still commonly, called the Sears Tower).

Skydeck
The Ledge Factsheet

The protective coating cracked beneath visitors on The Ledge, but officials said no one was in danger.

Alejandro Garibay, 23, of California, and four family members were posing for photos on one of the four glass lookout ledges atop the skyscraper when they heard cracking noises and saw “lines going through the glass,” he told media outlets.

“We immediately jumped off as fast as we could,” Garibay said, who sent his a photo of the damaged ledge to several news outlets.

“The Ledge” experience on the 103rd floor of the skyscraper consists of fully enclosed, retractable glass boxes that jut out from the building about four feet.

Opened in 2009, the glass boxes—comprised of three layers of half-inch-thick glass laminated into a seamless unit—are designed to hold five tons and have been coated in a protective layer to prevent scratching.

No Danger to Visitors

Despite the scare, Willis Tower officials say Garibay and his family weren’t in any danger.

TheLedge cracking - Garibay
Courtesy Alejandro Garibay / NBC Chicago

Alejandro Garibay provided this photo of the cracked glass to several news outlets.

"At no time whatsoever was the integrity of the structure compromised," Bill Utter, a Willis Tower spokesman, told news bureaus.

“Occasionally, the protective coating will crack, as it is designed to in order to protect the surface of the glass,” according to a post on the Willis Tower’s Facebook page.

No information about the coating type was available. Neither the owner nor the contractor responded to a request last week for more information.

The coating has cracked on The Ledge three times in the last five years, according to the Chicago Tribune. The protective coating is routinely replaced every six to nine months, the newspaper reported, citing MTH Industries, of Chicago, the contractors who installed the 1,500-pound glass panels in 2009.

Closed for Repairs

Inspectors from the city’s building department closed down the skyboxes Thursday so that a new layer of protective coating and glass could be installed on the damaged box.

The unaffected skyboxes reopened Thursday afternoon, according to the Tribune.

Ledge coating and glass replacement
Skydeck Facebook Image

Glass and architectural metal contractor MTH Industries replaced the cracked coating and installed a new layer of glass to the damaged Ledge.

Later Thursday evening, Willis Tower officials announced on Facebook that the new coating had been installed and the affected Ledge would reopen Friday (May 30) after city inspectors had a chance to examine the new installation.

Willis Tower posted photos of the glass and architectural metal contractors performing work on the damaged skybox, pulling off the cracked coating and putting in new glass.

MTH Industries did not immediately respond Friday to a request for more information about the dizzying project.

Skydeck and Ledge

The Skydeck attracts 1.3 million visitors annually who are able to view up to 50 miles and four states.

The Ledge dares visitors to “feel the city from 103 floors over Wacker Drive and the Chicago River” and is intended to be a sort of thrill ride.

Inspiration for The Ledge came from hundreds of forehead prints left behind on Skydeck windows and the Sears Tower scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, in which children were going right up to window, according to project details.

Skidmore, Owings and Merrill designed The Ledge. They also designed the original landmark building in 1974.

   

Tagged categories: Architecture; Commercial Buildings; Glass coatings; Health and safety

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Advertisements
 
Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America
 
Performance Amine 1,3-BAC
 
A highly reactive cycloaliphatic diamine offering superior performance. Reasonable cost and curing efficacy makes it suitable for all types of epoxy resin applications.
 

 
Carboline Company
 
Carboline is pouring with opportunities
 
We are proud of our exceptional products and services, and believe that people are our greatest asset. Come grow with us!
 

 
Sherwin-Williams
 
Sherwin-Williams General Polymers Resinous Flooring App
 
Our coatings and linings expertise available 24/7, allowing you to explore the Sherwin-Williams systems best suited for your flooring needs. Android Users Click here to Download the app today!
 

 
SABRE Autonomous Solutions
 
Safety, Productivity, Quality. Robotic Blasting
 
Learn how this simple to use, field deployed, automatic robot is eliminating hazards in major confined, cluttered and complex surface preparation projects.
 

 
BASF
 
New resins from BASF will have metals loving water!
 
Excellent corrosion resistance, low VOC, high gloss, thin films www.basf.us/industrialcoatings dpsolutions@basf.com 800-231-7868
 

 
Novatek Corporation
 
Novatek Corporation, Dustless Coatings Removal
 
Strip, clean and profile all dust free! Comply with new lead standards. Contact today: (866) 563-7800
 

 
Detail Masters
 
Overspray Removal
 
We offer professional, turnkey service and unparalleled quality!
Our process can save hundreds— even thousands of dollars. It's fast, environmentally safe and 100% guaranteed.
 

 
Tnemec Company, Inc.
 
Online Coating Courses from Tnemec
 
For decades, Tnemec has offered its expertise to clients presenting face-to-face coatings courses. Now, these presentations are available to anyone for CEUs at Tnemec University.
 

 
PPG Protective and Marine Coatings Group
 
We Protect and Beautify the World
 
PPG is widely recognized as a world leader in protective and marine coatings, developing innovative, cutting-edge products and services.
 

 
Jotun Paints Inc.
 
Jotachar JF750 - The Time Saving Solution
 
The only mesh free solution for jet fire scenarios. Jotachar saves installation time and material costs - the next generation of epoxy passive fire protection.
 

 
 
 

Technology Publishing Co., 2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@paintsquare.com


The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us