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reap-

Those Brits Did It Again

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CHICAGO – One of the world's most iconic skyscrapers has long tempted Chicago visitors to squint, crane their necks and try to see the tip of the country's tallest building. But starting Thursday, Sears Tower will be gone.

 

Sort of. Its black, block-like architecture and towering rooftop spikes will remain, but the widely recognized name it carried for three decades will be pushed out by a British company.

 

Willis Tower will be introduced to Chicago by Mayor Richard M. Daley and others on Thursday during a public renaming ceremony hosted by Willis Group Holdings. The London-based insurance brokerage secured the naming rights as part an agreement to lease 140,000 square feet of space, and has said it plans to bring hundreds of jobs to the city.

 

But some locals aren't sold.

 

"It's always going to be the Sears Tower. It's part of Chicago and I won't call it Willis Tower. In Chicago we hold fast," Chicago teacher Marianne Turk, 46, said as she stood in line this week to go up to the building's Skydeck.

 

The 110-story skyscraper has been known as Sears Tower since it opened in 1973. Its original tenant, Sears Roebuck and Co., moved out in 1992 but its sign stayed. A real estate investment group, American Landmark Properties of Skokie, now owns the 1,450-foot-tall building.

 

"Everybody knows that tower," Willis Group Holdings chief executive Joe Plumeri said ahead of Thursday's ceremony. "If we're good corporate citizens and do what we should, hopefully Willis and the tower and Chicago will all become synonymous."

 

Historically, skyscrapers have been businesses unto themselves, acting as a commodity to compete for high rents and tenants, said Carol Willis, founder and director of The Skyscraper Museum in New York.

 

"Naming rights are an asset of the building. They can be turned into money and that's what the new owners are doing," she said.

 

Other well known buildings have undergone name changes — New York City's Pan Am Building became the MetLife Building, and Chicago's Standard Oil Building is now the Aon Center — but the public hasn't always taken to them.

 

The Chicago tower's owners acknowledge it will take time for some people to accept the new name, but they're confident it will happen eventually.

 

"It is an icon, but I believe over time it will become known as Willis Tower," said John Huston of American Landmark Properties, who represents the building ownership.

 

Alex Lucas, 29, an Arlington Heights business systems analyst who works down the street from the skyscraper, was so displeased with the name change that he started a Web site, http://www.itsthesearstower.com.

 

"Chicago is going to lose a big part of what is its identity and I don't know what's going to fill that space," Lucas said.

 

The new name isn't the only major change this year. Last month, owners announced a $350 million greening effort, complete with wind turbines and solar panels, along with plans for a 50-story luxury hotel. For tourists, glass-bottomed enclosed balconies on the 103rd Skydeck were opened earlier this month, giving visitors a 1,353-foot look straight down.

 

All these efforts were part of a plan aimed at remarketing the building as a pioneer and reintroducing it to the world, owners say.

 

Reluctance to let go of the name is understandable, said Plumeri, Willis Group Holdings' CEO. But, he added, "By the same token life moves on, nothing ever stays the same. Chicago is an evolving city."

 

and look at that website

 

http://www.willistower.com/

 

bloody awful

Edited by -REAP-

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I saw this also. I'm too used to calling it the Sears Tower and will still call it the Sears Tower. :eyebrows:

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Even if its name is changed in all the street signs and maps, they'll still call it the Sears Tower. They're so used to it.

Edited by Luckyx

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I didn't even read what the name change is, so it's still Sears Tower to me.

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Willis Tower doesn't sound as good as Sears Tower.

Edited by theking1322

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Tbh, the Seattle government could've declined the offer.

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What you talkin' bout Willis :eyebrows:

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Guess its the Willis tower from now on.

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Tbh, the Seattle government could've declined the offer.

Did you seriously just say that?

 

I know you live in the UK but still...

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it doesn't really matter i'll call it Sears tower because i'm sure if i said Willis tower i'de get a wtf response.

 

Nuff' said.

 

EDIT: CN TOWER FTW!

 

c_n_tower.jpg

 

It dwarfs the sears tower.

Edited by Meidou

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it doesn't really matter i'll call it Sears tower because i'm sure if i said Willis tower i'de get a wtf response.

 

Nuff' said.

 

EDIT: CN TOWER FTW!

 

c_n_tower.jpg

 

It dwarfs the sears tower.

Excuse me sir, but this topic is about the Sears Tower.

 

Now....GTFO

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This would be different if a Diff'rent Strokes fanclub changed the name but wow.

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Tbh, the Seattle government could've declined the offer.

 

your playing, right? cause that deserved a serious facepalm.

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Willis Tower? Screw that..I'm still calling it the Sears Tower.

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I don't even know of the tower this topic speaks of, so I guess it will be the Willis tower for me.

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Tbh, the Seattle government could've declined the offer.

picard-facepalm2.jpg

 

Please tell me your kidding.

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What do you mean "Those Brits did it again"?

 

Either way who cares everyone knows it has Sears Tower.

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Give it a few years, and people will start calling it Willis tower. Once the name changes it's only a matter of time.

But I agree, a stupid change.

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Bloody imperialists! :eyebrows:

 

This is UNFORGIVABLE. Damn you, Chicago government, for letting this happen!

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I refuse. It's the Sears Tower. This will catch on almost as successfully as freedom fries.

 

freedom what?

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I refuse. It's the Sears Tower. This will catch on almost as successfully as freedom fries.

 

freedom what?

Fries. If you really had no idea what they were, my point exactly. :eyebrows:

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Excuse me sir, but this topic is about the Sears Tower.

 

Now....GTFO

 

Actually its about the Willis Tower.

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