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One of HAIF's sister publications, The Chicago Architecture Blog was invited to today's media preview of The Ledge, which opens to the public tomorrow at Skydeck Chicago (formerly the Sears Skydeck).

I've been a little hesitant when walking on glass floors in places like Toronto and Seoul and elsewhere. But The Ledges (there are four of them) felt really good and solid and safe. I had no hesitation and there was no worry even though I was 103 floors up.

Of course, it's a rainy day in Chicago today, but that's OK. The clouds occasionally parted and the ledges are the BEST way to really get a view of the city. Much better than being hemmed in behind a railing like before. I bet other observation decks around the world will start installing similar glass pods. It's a much better experience.

Anyway, here are some of the pictures. I'll post more on the blog along with some videos in the next few hours and days.

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Cool concept. This picture awakens my acrophobia, though.

I feel you.

There are four of these glass pods -- and that's really all they are -- three layers of glass hanging from a steel frame. I think this one really illustrates the potential terror:

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1,353 feet straight down.

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If I ever head to the windy city I would totally check this out.

See I'm not afraid of heights... I'm afraid of falling from heights.

As long as that glass is stronger than it needs to be and stays in place, I'm fine.

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If I ever head to the windy city I would totally check this out.

See I'm not afraid of heights... I'm afraid of falling from heights.

As long as that glass is stronger than it needs to be and stays in place, I'm fine.

You couldn't pay me enough to step onto a sheet of glass(or three) 103 stories up. I have a fear of heights that borders on the freaky. Has anyone ever heard the theory that it's not a fear of heights or of falling, but a fear of yourself jumping? Hmmmm....

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You couldn't pay me enough to step onto a sheet of glass(or three) 103 stories up. I have a fear of heights that borders on the freaky. Has anyone ever heard the theory that it's not a fear of heights or of falling, but a fear of yourself jumping? Hmmmm....

I've never heard it expressed as a theory, but I believe what you say has some merit. When I'm on ledges, cliffs, etc... I don't worry about accidentally falling. I worry about not being able to resist throwing myself off. I thought it was just me. I guess I'm not the only crazy one.

BTW, if you're ever in Cincinnati, you might want to avoid the observation deck on top of Carew Tower. 50 stories up and only a waist-high wall to keep you from plummeting to your doom.

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You couldn't pay me enough to step onto a sheet of glass(or three) 103 stories up. I have a fear of heights that borders on the freaky. Has anyone ever heard the theory that it's not a fear of heights or of falling, but a fear of yourself jumping? Hmmmm....

Strange, but interesting... and I can relate also. I've been up high numerous times, and the thought of jumping crossed my mind, but not like suicide... like something took control of my mind and is trying to make me do it. I've also had the fear that ghosts, invisible people form another dimension, demonic spirits, or some fool who has lost his damn mind is going to suddenly be there and push me.

I think the majority of us without serious phobias, fearful or not can slowly acclimate ourselves to the height and then be at ease. It's your mind telling you that because you can see the ground and are stepping on something that to your eyes is not there, that you will fall, that this glass will break, that this structure will topple, all as a self preservation instinct we have from birth. Just have to trick this instinct with logic and reason. I have to do this when rock climbing and all that stands between me and a hurty 40 foot fall is a rope and a trusted friend.

On a side note, this just came to mind: You know when they say if you have a dream that you are falling, and you hit the ground, you will die in real life? Definitely not true. For one it's illogical. How many dead people do you know who have been able to tell you they were just sleeping and had a dream when they hit the ground? Anyhow, Once I had a dream I was working on the roof of my building, when I slipped and fell off. On the way down my last thought was "boy I sure screwed up" in as a regretful tone as you can imagine. About 5 seconds later I hit the ground hard... first I think I'm dead, or about to die when I realize I'm still alive, just a little hurty from the impact. Instantly I'm all glad I survived then I think "boy that was fun, I'm gonna go do that again" Then I head back to the roof, 24 floors up, to jump off again... before I get there I wake up.

There, that's my sharing something personal quota for the week.

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After Bob and Ted put the finishing touches on The Ledge for the media preview they climbed further on to the top for a few antenna adjustments.

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Who's going to keep the perverts with binoculars from looking straight up into the Ledges from below at sidewalk level?

Edited by SchwinnChopper68
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I've never heard it expressed as a theory, but I believe what you say has some merit. When I'm on ledges, cliffs, etc... I don't worry about accidentally falling. I worry about not being able to resist throwing myself off. I thought it was just me. I guess I'm not the only crazy one.

Ditto here...it's not like a constant fear, but I even sometimes have that feeling if I happen to look over the edge at my parking garage. I'm the same way in that it's more the idea of momentarily losing control of my mind and plunging over the edge. After watching an episode of "Obsessed" on A&E, I have to wonder if it's somewhat OCD related? Definitely to a lesser degree, but on the episode I saw there was a girl who was scared should was going to lose control and kill someone, even though she didn't want to... I think I'll take the fear of ledges

As for the glass ledge, I think I could handle it if I could crawl out there

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After Bob and Ted put the finishing touches on The Ledge for the media preview they climbed further on to the top for a few antenna adjustments.

Ummm... that's not Chicago.

Who's going to keep the perverts with binoculars from looking straight up into the Ledges from below at sidewalk level?

Not a thing. Check out the pictures from the Sun-Times:

http://www.suntimes.com/business/-1,070109...gallery?index=1

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No different than if you're wearing a skirt waiting for a train on the El platform and someone walks underneath.

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Ditto here...it's not like a constant fear, but I even sometimes have that feeling if I happen to look over the edge at my parking garage. I'm the same way in that it's more the idea of momentarily losing control of my mind and plunging over the edge. After watching an episode of "Obsessed" on A&E, I have to wonder if it's somewhat OCD related? Definitely to a lesser degree, but on the episode I saw there was a girl who was scared should was going to lose control and kill someone, even though she didn't want to... I think I'll take the fear of ledges

I thought it was just me, I guess it's good to hear others are the same. I also constantly have to deal with wanting to jump off of things. Not at all to die, but just because I want to jump. I spent a lot of my youth in the tops of trees. No comment on the killing thing. If I go schizo suppressing things though, it wasn't me.

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BTW, if you're ever in Cincinnati, you might want to avoid the observation deck on top of Carew Tower. 50 stories up and only a waist-high wall to keep you from plummeting to your doom.

The 'new' Enron building has a similar feature, but at about 40 stories up in what they call the "hat". It's not open to the public, however.

I was once up there on a moderately windy day, but with gusts enough to give me some pause. My concerns were that either there'd be a freak gust of wind, possibly deflected around the curvature of the building, enough to push me around erratically. If anyone's ever tried walking around on the upper deck of one of the Bolivar ferries during a tropical storm, that's my point of reference.

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You couldn't pay me enough to step onto a sheet of glass(or three) 103 stories up. I have a fear of heights that borders on the freaky. Has anyone ever heard the theory that it's not a fear of heights or of falling, but a fear of yourself jumping? Hmmmm....

Ya, I always felt that way when on top of high buildings its a very odd fealing!

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