Thursday, October 01, 2009

Evening Scene - The Aon Center

For the past couple of weeks, the front doors at my workplace (Aon Center) have been closed periodically and I didn’t know why.

Here’s why:

From the Chicago Tribune:

The countdown to the Olympic bid announcement has been exhausting -- just ask the 20 or so workers armed with black plastic and duct tape at the Aon Center.

Since Sept. 16, the team of engineers, carpenters and others has hustled to create 12-story countdown numbers by illuminating and shading offices on the building's south side. Wednesday night was "2" -- a tricky numeral because of its curves and points. Thursday night will be "1," which is more difficult than it looks, said Matt Amato, general manager for
Jones Lang LaSalle, which manages the tower at 200 E. Randolph St.

Workers usually wait until office employees are gone to haul in ladders and step stools. They politely ask late-working tenants to leave their lights on or to allow a shade to be taped up as they work, Amato said.

People don't always remember.

"There have been plenty of nights where I or another staff member has stood out in the middle of
Millennium Park to see how it looks and then we see there's a light missing on the 50th floor, the fourth window," Amato said.

In those cases, workers use walkie-talkies to communicate the glitch back to staff, who make necessary adjustments inside the building. Aon's countdown, which has required a different Excel spreadsheet design and change of window dressing every night for more than two weeks, is the building's most ambitious to date, Amato said.

(Our offices are on the south side but only on the 22nd floor.)

Here’s a test-run they did the other night:

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