Thursday, July 16, 2009

"What'choo talkin' 'bout, Willis?"

233 South Wacker Drive is no longer being occupied by Sears Tower, a building that in 1973, at the time of its completion, was the tallest building in the world. As of today, the iconic Chicago, Illinois, skyscraper is now named Willis Tower after Willis Group Holdings, the new naming-rights owners. The recent name change, however, is not being taken lightly. On the social networking website,, 93,110 have joined the group "People Against the Sears Tower Name Change.” Although this is the largest group of its kind, seventy other groups were created to boycott the same cause. One member said, “I think landmarks should keep their names. Do you think the French would stand for a renaming of the Eiffel Tower? Doubt it! It'll remain the ‘Sears Tower’ forever to me.”

Although Sears’ naming rights had expired in 2003, the building has continued to be called Sears Tower until 10 am this morning when Willis Group Holdings’ 140,000 square feet lease of the building came into effect. It seems, however, that to Chicago natives it will still be known as the Sears Tower.

I await the day when I can ask a cab driver in Chicago to take me to Willis Tower and they ask me where the heck that is.

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