The Sears Tower in Chicago has planned to add four enclosed glass-bottomed balconies to the building's 103rd-floor skydeck this June. The Sears Tower is calling the balconies, "The Ledge," but I like to call them "No Effing Way."
They're supposedly built to hold about five tons of weight, but come on. Seriously. They're 1 and 1/2 inch thick! That's it! It's all fun and games until some 300-pound dude walks out there and jumps up and down trying to be funny and accidentally takes out Girl Scout Troop 144. Chicago Breaking News says:
Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, the architecture firm that designed the tower, also designed The Ledge, whose four 1-1/2-inch-thick glass boxes are being placed on the building's west side, according to the fact sheet. The retractable boxes will extend 4.3 feet out from the side of the building at 1,353 feet above street level, according to the fact sheet.
Each of the four Ledge boxes is comprised of three layers of half-inch-thick glass. They are designed to hold about five tons, much more weight than they are expected to have to carry when they have a full group of visitors, and also higher than the two tons required by city code, according to the spokeswoman.
Being ridiculously afraid of heights, I'm going to go ahead and say that never in my life will I ever participate in this glass balcony business. I don't care if it's covered in cupcakes and naked Hugh Jackmans.