I saw on the news yesterday that the Sears Tower here in Chicago is being renamed to Willis Tower. A global insurance broker, Willis Group Holdings, has announced that it will place its name on the 110-story skyscraper and lease 140,000 square feet of office space in the building. Sears Tower was the tallest building in the world when it was built in 1973 and it still is the tallest building in the western hemisphere.
Chicagoans are against the name change, but Willis’ CEO was incredulous at the negative reaction to relocate 500 employees to the tower in the midst of a recession and commented “Would you rather have an iconic building with nobody in it?”. Retailer Sears, who had the tower constructed, left the building 17 years ago and lost the naming rights in 2003.