'Willis Tower' name will live in shadow of 'Sears Tower'

Full story: Chicago Tribune

First came the puzzled looks. Then the confused glances. And finally the questions.
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1 - 20 of 38 Comments Last updated Aug 6, 2009
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Dickie Moon

Trabuco Canyon, CA

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#1
Jul 16, 2009
 
Listen! change is enevitable; e.g.( The Brooklyn Dodgers, Sovient union, Prince) good grief Im from L.A and I cant understand what the big F'ing deal is..its not like they are tearing it down actualy maybe that woudnt be such a bad thing - get therapy!
yabbiyum

Spring Hill, FL

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#2
Jul 16, 2009
 
Dumb. Just dumb.
yabbiyum

Spring Hill, FL

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#3
Jul 16, 2009
 
They bought a LANDMARK that has an IDENTITY. May as well rename the Statue of Liberty.
Mr Houston

Houston, TX

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#4
Jul 16, 2009
 
yabbiyum wrote:
They bought a LANDMARK that has an IDENTITY. May as well rename the Statue of Liberty.
Comparing the Statue of Liberty to the WILLIS TOWER, that's right, WILLIS TOWER WILLIS TOWER WILLIS TOWER WILLIS TOWER is like comparing Thomas Jefferson to Mayor Daley.
Gary Dell Abate

Chicago, IL

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#5
Jul 16, 2009
 
Watchoo talkin''bout Willis (Tower)?
DartsForDaley

Naperville, IL

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#6
Jul 17, 2009
 
The Willis Group Chairman and CEO, Joe Plumeri, purchased a page of newsprint as "A Message to the People of Chicago." to inform "the people of chicago" why this company is moving here and how this move will benefit the city. In the sixth paragraph, it was stated, "We believe in making a positive to the life of the city. To begin, today we're donating $100,000.000 to Chicago 2016 to help bring the Olympics to the shores of Lake Michigan. And we're making a $100,000.00 contribution to Chicago Cares..........Our associates here will be pledging thousand of hours of their own time to serving the greater community." Looks like smiling King Richard got his "tribute." What will the mighty midget ask the Willis Associates to volunteer for? Write parking tickets? Pledge their own money to Richie's pet projects? Form crews to fill all the pot holes before October? Now we know why the wee one was so happy with "Big Willie." I sure hope Mr. Plumeri knows what he is getting into! Good Luck Willis Tower and Mr. Plumeri.
Get up

Chicago, IL

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#7
Jul 17, 2009
 
Gary Dell Abate wrote:
Watchoo talkin''bout Willis (Tower)?
YOU Go Willis!!!
truepittsburgher

Pittsburgh, PA

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#9
Jul 17, 2009
 
stand tall Sears Tower
it's been years since they changed the name of our Civic Arena to Mellon Arena, and that's not even a landmark. We all still call it the Civic Arena and we know immediately when someones not a true Pittsburgh Native when they call it Mellon Arena.
reddog

United States

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#10
Jul 17, 2009
 
the city of chicago goes out of its way to protect architecture that is only 2 or 3 stories tall but they can't protect the name of one of the major achievements in architecture. this group only rents 3 floors and they got the naming rights. I can understand renaming a sports stadium, you can tear one of those down and they're more like amusement parks. but the big willie which is what I'm going to call it from now on is a building that will take a major achievement to do outside a terrorist attack. besides, would Paris rename the Eiffel tower?
mike

South Elgin, IL

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#11
Jul 17, 2009
 
This is a disgrace to the city of chicago. I live about 15-20 miles away from the city and this building will never be called Willis Tower. This should have never been allowed, especially from a company that is London based. That's like us americans going to France to buy the Eiffel Tower and calling it " A Pile of Steel Tower or something else...and its not just a name change. Kids in school, their school books, encyclopedias, everything has to change.. Buncha BS if you ask me.
Hung Guy

Chicago, IL

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#12
Jul 17, 2009
 
Whenever someone says "Big Willy" I think they're talking about me.
John from DC

Falls Church, VA

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#13
Jul 17, 2009
 
For 3% of the floors they get naming rights? Wow - they must be good negotiators. Perhaps we should employ them to mediate the budget crisis in CA...

When we drive past the SEARS Tower en route to visit my family later this summer I know what my kids will be calling this beautiful building.
Joe

Chicago, IL

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#14
Jul 17, 2009
 
It's true, the owners of the tower--Vornado Realty--have the right to name the Tower whatever they want, even if it's for someone who wants to rent a broom closet. I suspect that, like Willis, they figured the name change would generate interest for other amenities at the tower. After 9/11, the tower ended up with much vacant space, its floors too big for many tenants.

So they have every right to rename the building. However, whenever I think of Sears Tower, I think of the many people in my neighborhood--common people, blue collar people like most of us--who gave their whole career to Sears, working at Homan Ave and later the Tower.(The original Sears Tower on Homan Ave still stands.) The '73 tower was a result of the efforts of all those "little" people. Many are dead, many would agree that Sears of the past 20 years wasn't theirs. Still, that tower, named as it was, stood as a monument to those tens of thousands of Chicagoans. That our society-including many of those expressing nasty opinions here-has become so cold that any history or respect for those who helped make our community can be sold off is very sad and bodes poorly for all of us. We've sold off our values. Harsh times.
guy in county

United States

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#15
Jul 17, 2009
 
I would think a more significant tenant than one that rents only 3 floors would be more likely to have the building named after them.
Jim

Chicago, IL

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#16
Jul 17, 2009
 
The Tribune continues to pander to it's big advertiser, Macy's. Unlike Sears, it wasn't just a name change with Field's to Macy's. It was an outright conversion.

Other than the name and the addition of the "Ledge", the Sears Tower is still pretty much the same as it was last year and even ten years ago. Despite the name change, it's still a unique experience.

In the case of Marshall Field's, the author--and the Tribune--is dead wrong. It was a name change as well as change in merchandise, service and ambiance. What was once one of Chicago's most unique destinations--number three according to Field's and Macy's literature in 2006--is now the largely the same thing you can find at 800 Macy's across the USA. People came to Chicago for Marshall Field's. Now they don't because Macy's is everywhere.

The city is working on building Chicago's fashion reputation. Why are we building it on a name synonymous with NYC? Why did we let what was by far Chicago's best known fashion name go? Macy's has gone bankrupt once already (in the early 90s) and highly leveraged right now. Field's never went bankrupt.

The difference between Sears/Willis and Field's/Macy's is that the average person has little leverage with Willis. The only way you can boycott against Willis and Vornado is to ask your community not to buy corporate services from Willis and to boycott Vornado by not shopping Filene's which they own--and Vornado doesn't seem to care too much about Filene's. That's kind of tough for the average person.

But in the case of Macy's, you can boycott their stores, including Bloomingdale's and it is making a huge difference.

Field's still supporters still rally, confront the CEO at annual meetings in Cinci and more. A recently completed survey shows that 78% of Chicago shoppers still prefers Marshall Field's and would shop more if it returned.

See http://www.fieldsfanschicago.org for more details.
Mine This Bird

Atlanta, GA

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#17
Jul 17, 2009
 
Wesley Willis Tower
Pelon

South Holland, IL

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#18
Jul 17, 2009
 
Another sell out by the Daley Administration!

Another example as to why Mayor Daley NEEDS to go and get fired NOW!
Fields is dead

Mason, OH

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#19
Jul 18, 2009
 
Jim,
Get over it. Field's is dead and buried. The only thing that remains is it's retail real estate. The corporate office--- GONE. The distribution center---GONE. Without the two of those, you don't have a chain. BTW - What you don't seem to understand is that the old Field's locations are more profitable than they have ever been. All the heavy overhead is gone. They are being supported by a giant 850 store chain which means economies of scale. Sorry to burst your bubble guy.
As far as your so called "survey" is concerned, because of your anti-Macy's bias, it has (and you have) absolutely no credibility. What a joke!
bad actors

United States

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#20
Jul 19, 2009
 
bada bing bada boom......u gotta problem with what i did well deal with it or get lost duesch bags the freaking mayor rite here
thingy

Terre Haute, IN

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#21
Jul 19, 2009
 
Fortunately, most out- of- towners will start calling it, Willis Tower.
Unfortunately, many Chicagoans will continue to be stubborn.
It will be quite interesting, when someone asks for directions to the Willis.

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