The John Hancock tower
The John Hancock tower
Oct. 20, 1968: The first of an estimated 3,000 piles to support the foundation of Boston's tallest building were driven this day in the Back Bay. Pile driving for the six-story John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company home office was expected to take nine months.
Oct. 25, 1969: The Hub's biggest hole in the ground in 1969 was the Hancock foundation in Copley Square.
Feb. 19, 1971: Signals came from the ground to workers on the 22d floor of the Hancock Tower.
March 9, 1971: The old John Hancock building (background) still dominated the Boston skyline, but the Hancock Tower was gaining.
Sept. 27, 1971: A construction worker retrieved the fir tree after it was hoisted with the last girder in traditional topping-off ceremonies at the John Hancock Tower. The white-colored beam, hoisted to the top and representing the final piece of structural steel to go into the construction of the building, carried with it the American flag as well as the fir tree and signatures of many home office employees, construction workers, and dignitaries. The 790-foot-high tower was now officially New England's tallest structure.
Sept. 27, 1971: Linda Paula, from the public relations department at John Hancock, mixed in with the construction workers as they watched the topping-off ceremonies for the new John Hancock Tower. Groundbreaking ceremonies were on Aug. 21, 1968.
Nov. 7, 1971: The new John Hancock building, still under construction on the left, towered over the old one on the right in this view of the Boston skyline.
Nov. 21, 1972: An aerial view of both the old and new John Hancock buildings.
Aug. 8,1973: The reflection of the old John Hancock building was fading as plywood replaced glass. More than 1700 panes — called "lights" — had been damaged. One of every six windows of the building's wall exterior surface was boarded over, representing over 2½ acres. Workers treated the plywood with black fire retardant paint at the request of the Boston Fire Department.
May 29, 1974: With the help of giant suction devices, glazier Lennie Fabiano installed a pane of tempered glass on the 58th floor of the John Hancock Tower. The company planned to install 10,344 such panes over the next nine months to replace windows of Thermopane glass which "popped” under severe wind conditions. The new windows, each weighing some 400 pounds, were installed from the top floor down.
June 21, 1977: Observers were silhouetted from the 60th floor of the John Hancock observatory as they looked towards Cambridge and MIT.