Designer of Sears Tower and John Hancock Center Dies
- Mar 09, 2010
March 9, 2010
By Allison Landa, News Editor
The architect behind two major Chicago landmarks has died. Bruce J. Graham died at age 84 on March 6 at his Florida home, according to a statement from public relations firm SCC Grossman.
Graham designed both the 110-story Sears Tower – which was renamed the Willis Tower in 2009 – and the 100-story John Hancock Tower. The buildings opened respectively in 1974 and 1970.
He died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease, SCC Grossman said.
“He was one of the giants of his era and so inventive,” Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture dean Donna Robertson told The Associated Press. “He raised generations of architects . . . who were highly talented and went on to perpetuate his creativity.”
Born in Bogota, Colombia, Graham studied at the University of Dayton, Ohio and at the Case School of Applied Sciences in Cleveland. Throughout most of his career, he led the Chicago-based firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. An avid collector of art, he was friends with artists Joan Miro and Alexander Calder.