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Architect behind Sears Tower dies

Bruce Graham, the man who designed the iconic Sears Tower in Chicago, has died at 84

Graham, a head architect at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) from 1951 to 1989, died in Florida.

His masterpiece, the 110-storey Sears Tower, was renamed the Willis Tower last year. It opened in 1974 and was the world’s tallest skyscraper until the Petronas Twin Towers opened in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1996.

The Chicago tower still remains the tallest in the US.

Born in Bogota, Colombia, Graham also designed Chicago’s 100-storey John Hancock Centre. The black, X-marked structure on the city’s Michigan Avenue was completed in 1970. His work for the Chicago-based SOM focused especially on steel-framed construction.

‘He was one of the giants of his era and so inventive,’ said Donna Robertson, dean at the Illinois Institute of Technology’s College of Architecture. ‘He raised generations of architects … who were highly talented and went on to perpetuate his creativity.’

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