Sears Tower Architect Dies At 84
I'm not an expert on architect Bruce J. Graham, who passed away last weekend at age 84. But I am familiar with his most famous work, the Sears Tower.
I grew up in Michigan. And while Detroit held some allure for its hockey, the closest point of escape was Chicago. When I dreamed of growing up and moving to a big city, Chicago was the place of my dreams.
Many of my friends now live, or have lived, in the city. I've visited dozens of times, invariably via the Skyway. After paying the exorbitant tolls, I would climb the bridge, crest it and come into view of the city - Chicago. And there, on the horizon, was the Sears Tower.
You can't help but look at the building. It defines the skyline. And in some ways it defines the city, or at least an outsider's idea of the city. From a town with few buildings over three stories, the Sears Tower was the very definition of cosmopolitan and succesful. If a buiilding could rise that high, and look so perfect, anything was possible.
I know very little about Bruce Graham. But I know what that building meant to me growing up. And for that, I am thankful.