Moving into three of the building's 110 stories is London-based insurance brokerage Willis Holdings, who have secured naming rights, effectively giving themselves the clout that comes with having the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere named after you. Changing the building's name, one that it has had since 1974 and which has entered into popular culture in songs and literature, may be easy on paper but hardly so on the ground. According to the Chicago Tribune, the negative ripple of opinion was immediately felt in Chicago:
Cell phone and digital cameras clicked away as word of the pending name change spread and people came to capture images of the Sears Tower name before it disappears in late July. Many people, including hundreds chiming in online, appeared dead-set against embracing Sears Tower as anything different, despite the fact that the retailer it was named for left for the suburbs 17 years ago.
Although Willis is sure that people will come around to it eventually, just as they did to the renaming of Comiskey Park to US Cellular Field in 2003, one thing is for sure: we won't be re-tagging our Flickr photos with it, so there.
[Photo: Patrick Haney]