Sears Tower ??

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by moreluck, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    What you talkin' bout, Willis? Sears Tower renamed

    By CARYN ROUSSEAU, Associated Press Writer Caryn Rousseau, Associated Press Writer 1 hr 30 mins ago

    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,
    "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."

    On the Net: Willis Tower:
  2. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    As I read this, these infamous words popped into my head:

  3. Baba gounj

    Baba gounj pensioner

    That's just like the new sport complex in Boston . Its changed its name several time yet everyone still calls it " The Garden ".:happy-very:
  4. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    The locals call it the "Gahden"
  5. JimJimmyJames

    JimJimmyJames Big Time Feeder Driver

    I think it was wrong to change the name of the building. It would be like renaming the Chrysler building or the Woolworth building in NYC.

    Oh well, wouldn't people consider naming rights for their children nowadays? I would not at all be surprised.
  6. UPS Lifer

    UPS Lifer Well-Known Member

    You think you are making a joke!
    How about those idiots who tattoo advertising on to their foreheads.... what is the difference?
  7. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    Yeah , like re-naming the Empire State Bldg. to Hogg Central Tower.....that would be shameful.....I don't care who owns it.:sad-little:
  8. Jones

    Jones fILE A GRIEVE! Staff Member

    Well, it was only called the Sears tower because Sears owned it and had their corporate offices there. They've long since sold it and moved their offices elsewhere. At the end of the day that's all it is, a big office building and I can't see getting sentimental about what some corporation chooses to name their building.
  9. UPS Lifer

    UPS Lifer Well-Known Member

    I take it you have no ties to Chicago. If you did, you might understand why the residents feel the way they do. It is kind of like the Hancock Building. It is a landmark that is recognized as such by residents and tourists alike. This won't die easily.

    It has nothing to do with the evil greedy corporations such as Sears.

    A better solution would be to call it the Willis Sears Tower or Willis's Sears Tower. In my mind even that is really not good enough.

    EG - Do you really believe that the Empire State Building or the Chrysler Building could EVER be called something else???
  10. Jones

    Jones fILE A GRIEVE! Staff Member

    In my defense, I never called Sears "evil and greedy". And you are right that I have no ties to Chicago, but I bet if you asked around you could find plenty of Chicagoans who care what the tower is called about as much as I do. People will call it whatever they want to, I guess. I'm sure plenty of folks will continue to call it the Sears tower. I'm just saying I don't see it as something to get overly worked up about.
  11. JimJimmyJames

    JimJimmyJames Big Time Feeder Driver

    I think changing the name effects us on some level because it is an affront to our collective feelings of our legacy for our posterity.
  12. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    Hey, I just thought of a way to pay off the Obama Deficit!
    The government can sell naming rights to stuff it owns.

    'The United States of Warren Buffet'

    'The Grand Wal-Mart Canyon'
  13. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    Exactly what legacy do you want for your posterior?
  14. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    I think this is appropriate recognition.
  15. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    Hey, that's Cosmo Kramer's plate !! :happy2:
  16. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    DING, DING, DING--we have a winner!!
  17. pickup

    pickup Well-Known Member

    Easily, if a company ended up owning one of these buildings and became a prime tenant of its own building, it would definitely consider it. Right now, it is real estate companies and/or investment funds that own these two buildings and derive more benefit(and the ability to collect more rent) from using these well established names. These real estate companies don't need to advertise their names to the public, as a matter of fact, some may not want to because the owners don't want the general public to know who really owns the building.

    For example, there is a building known as the GM building around 58th street and 5th avenue. If you look just a little bit , you will find that the building is now owned by middle eastern companies(dubai ,etc).

    I tried to look into the ownership of the empire state building. I know trump and helmsley corp once jointly owned the building. I think Trump sold his share a few years back and now both helmsleys (leona and her husband ) are dead , so I was curious as to who owned it. I can't find nothing.

    As for the Chrysler building, I see that it was recently owned (majority wise) by a german firm. The german firm, very recently , sold its stake to a company by the name of Abu Dhabi investment authority which now owns 90 percent of the chrysler building.

    I took this paragraph off of wikipedia:

    The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) is a sovereign wealth fund owned by Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. ADIA has never published how much it has in assets. As a result of this, there is some debate on how much the fund has under control. Accepted estimates have been between $650 billion to approximately $875 billion in assets.[1] On November 26, 2007, ADIA agreed to invest $7.5 billion in Citigroup, the largest United States bank. This deal gives ADIA 4.9% of the New York-based bank, making it the second largest shareholder, with Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud of Kingdom Holding of Saudi Arabia the third largest shareholder, with 4.3%.

    As mentioned somewhere in this thread, there is a building now known as the metlife building that was once known as the pan am building.(as iconic as sears towers) It is a very prominent building above grand central station that your eyes go toward to if you are standing on park avenue . Pan Am went bankrupt in the late 80s and metlife bought the building and put its name/logo up on both prominent sides of the building. Metlife sells a lot of products to the general public so it made all the sense in the world to put their name and logo on the this building.
  18. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    Pickup, you will appreciate this. The new home of the Mets is called Citifinancial Field yet I wonder how many fans refer to it as Shea Stadium?
    The Boston Garden is now called TD Banknorth Garden but everyone stills calls it the Gahden. TD Banknorth is changing its' name to TD Bank so will this then become TD Bank Garden? There are many more examples of this and with the continuing loss of sponsors many more to come. What's in a name?
  19. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    Many of these sports venues were built using taxpayer dollars (absolutely wrong IMO but that's for another day) but I wonder who ultimately benefits from the advertising royalites these naming rights garner? Be interesting if across the country someone would follow the municiple papertrails and to where they would led. Transparency anyone?
  20. JimJimmyJames

    JimJimmyJames Big Time Feeder Driver

    I think it was Artie Lange who said that the Mets had to be crazy to name their new stadium Citi Field. Because what rhymes with Citi :wink2:?

    All of the places in NJ that have changed their names I still call by their original names.