Day 153: CNA Center

CNA Center is a 600-ft, 44-story high-rise building located at 333 South Wabash Avenue in the Loop. It is a simple, rectangular International Style building, but is unique in that the entire building is painted bright red, turning an otherwise ordinary-looking structure into one of the most eye-catching buildings in the city. It was designed by the firm of Graham, Anderson, Probst & White and was completed in 1972. The red design was used to depict the sun setting over the ocean as illustrated by the red imagery to the west of Lake Michigan.

Lighted Window Messages

Utilizing a combination of lights on/off and 1,600 window blinds open/closed (and sometimes foam-board cutouts), the windows on CNA Center are often used to display lighted window messages, typically denoting holidays, remembrances, and other events denoting Chicago civic pride, such as when the Blackhawks played in and won the Stanley Cup in 2010. A computer program is used to calculate which windows need to be activated to create the proper message.

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