Sears Tower was a real blow to New York’s ego. New York upon completetion of the Twin Towers felt it had built not only the first, but the second largest skyscapers in the world. Today, both of the later structures are gone and its sole replacement displaced the Sears Tower, the tallest building (at least in the US). Sadly, that which we called the Sears Tower, is a rose by another name. It is the 11th tallest skyscaper in the world today, still a pretty good record. It is now called Willis, as Sears ran off to the suburbs, and did not own the building anyway (sigh).
I was in the World Trade Center a few times in my life, The lobby was very light, as it was all glass and had an open vantage point because it was not nestled into an area, part of it being on the waterfront. Its Chicago counterpart however is nestled in a concentrated area. Both Willis Tower and the John Hancock buidling like to show their weight bearing structures in the lobby, which is nice.
The lobby in the World Trade centers were always kind of cold, and you always approached the building from a distance, unless you came up from the subway or the Path. With the Tower, you just stumble in off the street. Its lobby is pleasant with lots of shiny surfaces. Having been in the lobby (far left, below), i went to take shots on the mezzanie level (center). setting the guards to give me the nix sign (far right).
There was a full shopping mall under the World Trade. In the old days, Alexander’s, food places, and bookstores with reduced books! After 9-11, security in office buildings has changed so much. Here you had to go through a whole deal, as if in an airport, to go through elevators.