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The Forgotten History Of Chicago Supertalls: Everything You Need To Know About Two Prudential Plaza

Although it's shadowed by neighboring Aon Center, Two Prudential Plaza shines in the Chicago skyline for its distinctive design and elegance, especially when compared to both Aon Center and One Prudential Plaza.


Today, our series on the forgotten history of Chicago supertalls focuses on the 64-story, 1.4M SF "Two Pru." At 995 feet, it's Chicago's sixth-tallest building and the tallest building in the world under 1,000 feet.

1. It Was Once The Tallest Reinforced Concrete Structure In The World


When Two Pru was delivered in 1990, it set a record as the tallest concrete reinforced building on the planet. Today, it doesn't even make the Top 10. Trump International Hotel & Tower, which we'll profile next week, holds that title.

2. Its Design Is Award-Winning


Architect Stephen Wright's designs for Two Pru weren't well-received when they were revealed in the mid-'80s. Then-Tribune architecture critic Paul Gapp said the building's impressive summit was "unaccompanied by grace or other enhancing characteristic."

Today, Wright's chevron setbacks, inspired by New York's Chrysler Building, are a welcome counterpoint to the blocky Aon Center or the 44-story One Prudential Plaza. And the building's structural design proved worthy of several awards, including Best Structure Award in 1995 from the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois.

3. It's Home To Several Popular Chicago Radio Stations


Two Pru is home to some of the most popular radio stations in Chicago, including WSCR 670 AM (the radio home of the Cubs), popular rock and pop station WXRT-FM, country powerhouse WUSN, and the all-news WBBM-AM and FM, which is the highest-rated radio station in town.

4. One Pru Is Nearly As Tall In Total Height

One and Two Prudential Plaza, and Aon Center, Chicago

Although One Prudential Plaza was built in 1955 and only rises 41 stories, its total height from foundation to the top of its antenna spire is 912 feet. One Prudential's antenna rises 311 feet, while the spire that tops Two Pru is a mere 80 feet tall.