Sears Tower Renamed Willis Tower After London Firm

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Crazy, History, Illinois


Obviously I don’t take part in jingoistic, populism often, but this just strikes me as just plain unamerican.

From NY Times:

In a sentimental gesture from a no-nonsense kind of guy, Jory Spears lifted his camera phone on Friday in a somber salute to this city’s beloved Sears Tower.

“The Sears Tower has some really big shoulders, it works hard and it can stand the Chicago winter — kind of like me,” said Mr. Spears, 52, a native Chicagoan who is among the many unhappy with the imminent renaming of the 110-story skyscraper, the tallest in the Western Hemisphere, to Willis Tower.

Many here say the purchase of the naming rights to the building by Willis Group Holdings, a London-based insurance brokerage, announced Thursday, is just the latest snub in a sad collection of architectural indignities.

I mean, seriously, can’t Chicago get the name protected since it’s part of American history. It shouldn’t be treated like a sports stadium sponsorship.


This entry was posted on Sunday, March 15th, 2009 and is filed under Crazy, History, Illinois. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Responses to “Sears Tower Renamed Willis Tower After London Firm”

  1. gerryf Says:

    Like Sports stadiums?

    Which one of those cherished icons are you referring to? Staples Center? Qwest Stadium? Comerica Park?…

  2. Tony Lambiris Says:

    This is just the beginning I feel.

  3. GerardoC Says:

    At least they didn’t ask for a bailout to keep the name…

  4. TerenceC Says:

    A rose by any other name still smells as sweet….. I would just like to know how come it doesn’t strike anyone as strange that a British Insurance company is poised for incredible US and global growth as the US taxpayer underwrites the unwinding and eventual breakup of one of it’s largest competitors (AIG).

  5. kranky kritter Says:

    Most people will keep calling it the Sears tower for at least generation. Which makes this first-degree idiocy.

    The best solution, IMO, is for cities to insist on controlling the naming process for any substantial and prominent structure that is built with the active cooperation of the city when this involves things like tax breaks and so on. The most democratic approach would be to have a naming contest decided by a multistage referendum of some sort. Then the name should be pretty much permanent with exceptions for things like obvious changes of use.

    It’s a public nuisance to have large institutional structures change their names. We live in a democracy, so its well within the right of the people to do this. Most folks don’t like that new architecture is now routinely viewed as a marketing opportunity. So we should just say no. Where’s the harm?

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