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Sunday, July 21

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Andrew Huff / July 15, 2009 10:36 AM

What is it about the name change that bothers you? Do you call US Cellular Park by that name, or something else?

David / July 15, 2009 10:39 AM

Well, this is on a smaller scale, but I intentionally call a coffee shop on the U of C campus by its former name (Uncle Joe's), rather than by its current name (Hallowed Grounds).

Mike / July 15, 2009 10:45 AM

If it weren't for Gary Coleman I may not mind as much...

Don Harder / July 15, 2009 10:49 AM

From what I've read Willis never asked for the name change -- so why change a LANDMARK name to something else? What's next: Cricket Field (formerly Soldier Field)?

Darwin / July 15, 2009 10:49 AM

Name change, what name change? Comiskey Park is Comiskey Park. The Sears Tower is the Sears Tower. What are they going to do, sue?

Ann Van / July 15, 2009 10:50 AM

I doubt it, since I still call Bakers Square "Poppin' Fresh" and Chase is still "First Chicago" to me. It's not obstinacy so much as absentmindedness.

David / July 15, 2009 10:54 AM

Like Mike, it's the Gary Coleman connotations that kill it for me. I have no partiality towards Sears Roebuck (I think the last time I was actually in a Sears was in grade school), but Willis Tower is just... too Diff'rent Strokes for me.

Mucky Fingers / July 15, 2009 10:54 AM

It doesn't make a difference, Chicago is over. It'll be Sears Tower forever for me.

I still refer to White Sox home as Comiskey Park, and I've never been to a game.

maardvark / July 15, 2009 10:55 AM

The Sears Tower is iconic, so that's why it's name stays the way it is. As for Comiskey, the word "Comiskey" rolls off the tongue so much better, especially when one is drunk. So I say, "I'm going down to Comiskey to watch a game."

Mr._Martini / July 15, 2009 11:02 AM

Sears? Sears sucks. What has Sears done for Chicago other then the name of the building. They do not contribute anything to Chicago. Is there even a Sears store here? If so, I am not going and neither are you.
Bring on Willis. Its a company that will employ folks and give back to the community, I hope.

Christopher J. / July 15, 2009 11:22 AM

I think there might be a movement afoot.

Guy Smiley / July 15, 2009 11:23 AM

From what I've read Willis never asked for the name change

Actually, they have asked for the name change.

Willis Tower

As for me, it'll always be Sears Tower. Not for any "Leave Chicago the way it is" attitude (though there is a little bit of that), but just out of habit. Though I have on occasion called "Macy's" by its new name, only because the name Macy's is already famous. Whereas Willis...

Avatar_Mom / July 15, 2009 11:26 AM

I'll probably refer to the tower as the "Wesley" Willis Tower now.

Guy Smiley / July 15, 2009 11:27 AM

Is there even a Sears store here? If so, I am not going and neither are you.

Are you serious? Try walking down 2 N. State street sometime, buddy. Or west on Lawrence. Or the Three Corners area. Or East 79th Street. Or 76th and Cicero. Or any of the other five or six locations. Sears probably employs more Chicagoans that Willis in Chicago does or ever will. That's what they've done for Chicago.

printdude / July 15, 2009 11:29 AM

Well, I still call the Amoco Building the Amoco Building. I think that is the AON building, now, But It will always be the Amoco Building.
And it's Sox Park. Comiskular. The Cell.
It will probably always be the Hancock.
And So, It will probably always be Sears tower.
Although, I am warming to the idea of Wesley Willis Tower, because I have three drawings by Wesley, all of them have the "tower" in them.

Cheryl / July 15, 2009 11:36 AM

I never called the Cell by the name of the ballpark they tore down. Generally it's just the ballpark. People who know me know I'm not talking about Wrigley when I say I'm going to the ballpark.

I'll forget to call it Willis, probably.

eee / July 15, 2009 11:44 AM

No, I will not be calling it by its new name. It was and always will be the Sears Tower. You wouldn't rename the Chrysler Building, or the Empire State Building, so why rename the Sears Tower? That's total crap.

And yes, I still call the Allstate Arena the Horizon, and the US Bank Ampitheater is still the World. US Cellular Field is either New Comiskey or Sox Park.

What bothers me about the name change is simply that it allows our cultural heritage (and IMO that does include local landmarks) to be bought and sold. I'm really offended by that. If something is part of the local culture, you leave it be. IMO, it shows a complete lack of respect for the people in the community.

Guy Smiley / July 15, 2009 11:52 AM

And yes, I still call the Allstate Arena the Horizon, and the US Bank Ampitheater is still the World. US Cellular Field is either New Comiskey or Sox Park. how are things back there in 1989? Have they killed Salman Rushdie yet? And as long as he doesn't do anything stupid, I hear Pete Rose is a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame.

Just kidding, eee. I totally get where you're coming from. I don't really like the name-changing of things that are Chicago cultural icons either. I would think they would like to continue to capitalize on the already-famous name. But what do I know, I'm not big-shot PR guy.

mary / July 15, 2009 11:55 AM

probably will call it Sears Tower to at least the locals until the rest of the nation realizes that the name changed. so probably forever.

i still call the sox stadium Comiskey. and i still call the outdoor venue on the southside The World (it has had about 5 names in the past 10 years).

i think i do this partly bc i'm a creature of habit, and partly because of the same reasons eee mentioned. these places just lose "something" when their names change to something more corporate.

Lori / July 15, 2009 12:04 PM

hell, I still call the whatever it's called now Poplar Creek. It's too confusing to change names from one corporations name to another. It seems short sighted. Places like Soldier Field, Sear's tower Comiskey, Wrigley, etc... should just keep the names they have (even if they are also corporate names i.e. wrigley, hancock), and new places should be given names that have meaning to the place they are built and not some random corporate name, like U.S Cellular Field. The United Center works because United is actually a word that has a meaning other than an airline. Millenium Park is a good name that will always have meaning and I hope the money grubbing bastards don't change it to Citibank park or soemthing equally obnoxious.

anyway, in our house it's called the Serious Tower, and that is what it shall remain. Though, I too like the idea of Wesley Willis Tower.

Chicago Garden / July 15, 2009 12:54 PM

I'll never call it Willis Tower because it just sounds silly.

Pete / July 15, 2009 1:20 PM

Given the fact that I still call Aon Center "the Standard Oil Building", I suspect that I'll still be calling this one Sears Tower long after Willis lets the naming rights expire.

Andy / July 15, 2009 1:31 PM

The Cell is actually a much better park since they renamed it US Cellular Field, due to the improvements made with the sponsorship money. To the commenter who wrote "I still refer to White Sox home as Comiskey Park, and I've never been to a game", I suggest making a trip to the South Side.

And I never thought of that park as Comiskey anyway. Comiskey Park was torn down in 1991.

Regarding the Sears Tower, that's a different situation, since it's much more of a landmark than US Cellular Field. The Sears Tower is more iconic to Chicago. So I will probably continue calling it Sears for the foreseeable future. I'm not sure how long Willis has purchased the naming rights anyway-- my guess is, it will be renamed to something else in 10 years. Best not to get too attached to the new name.

Cletus Warhol / July 15, 2009 1:45 PM

Absolutely not!

Some company that is renting a miniscule portion of the building pays a bribe to the management company and we're all supposed to start calling a Chicago icon by a different name?

Plus, this company is getting tax breaks (from a city broke off its ass) to help them move into the building (despite the fact that their profits were immense)?

Yeah, and I'm going to petition my landlord to rename my building "The Kiss My Pale Furry Ass Center" (it's not really tall enough tall enough to be called a "tower").

Cletus Warhol / July 15, 2009 1:49 PM

Pardon the little "echo" there.

Katie / July 15, 2009 1:57 PM

What's going to happen to the signage out front? I always loved those huge letters.

flange / July 15, 2009 2:21 PM

i used to work for a company in the sears tower. the building management was emphatic that we could not use the phrase "sears tower" to refer to the building or the address.

i will take great pleasure in continuing to call it the sears tower.

(and i believe all of the publicity about that stupid glass box in the skydeck called it thus as well.)

Mr. D. Plus / July 15, 2009 2:23 PM

I rarely refer to the building at all; when I do, I'll probably use the new name just to see what happens. I like to call Sox Park the Bill Veeck Memorial Field. It's useless to want things "the way they always were;" that's a comfy illusion. Things change all the time.

Eamon / July 15, 2009 2:36 PM

I actually don't understand the loyalty. These are companies who named these buildings. Who cares if it's Company X instead of Company Y? They built these buildings to be advertisements.

Soldier Field is different: the name means something. Taking that away would be something altogether different.

Mr. D. Plus / July 15, 2009 2:39 PM

...and don't forget about Weeghman Park, too.

mike-ts / July 15, 2009 3:36 PM

I'll stick with Sears. I still call my phone service Cingular, and as long as the address redirects, I pay my bill by keying in You know newbies from long time people by how they pronounce words and what they call things. Like Cabaret Metro.

fluffy / July 15, 2009 7:53 PM

I used to work there and it'll always be the Sears tower to me.

bung hole / July 15, 2009 8:40 PM

"Well, I still call the Amoco Building the Amoco Building."

Poignant, insofar as it's the Standard Oil building. Amoco was the Willis of that era.

boxspring / July 16, 2009 7:42 AM

Katie, the signage out front has been gone for a few weeks now, or at least some of the signage when i walked past the other day. it still had ghosted lettering from years of weather on one side of the building.

Sears Tower for me.

B Knight / July 16, 2009 10:18 AM

There would be less popular resistance if Willis Holdings was a household name in Chicago.

United Center, okay; they're a hometown company. US Cellular Field, okay; smaller cell provider but still hometown. Allstate Arena, ehh I suppose; insurance doesn't sound as cool as Rosemont Horizon, but they are hometown. Macy's, ehh; most of us at least heard of them before they bought Field's.

Willis? Never heard of 'em until a couple months ago. Barging in here, renaming a landmark we hold especially near and dear to our hearts. They're not being good neighbors or endearing themselves to us. Why didn't they rename a building in their hometown of London?

My colleague put it best: "You know it'll start being called 'The Big Willie' by everyone in town."

spudart / July 16, 2009 10:19 AM

I'm calling it Willis Tower only because so many people freak out by the name change. I have no problem with people simply calling it Sears Tower. Whatevs. Like one commenter said that he still calls the Aon Center to be Amoco Building. That's cool. But when people totally freak out about it. So what?

Willis Tower / July 16, 2009 10:28 AM

Shouldn't the question be "Will you call the Willis Tower by its new name?" How about if I changed my middle name to Sears? "Willis Sears Tower" has a nice vaguely retro ring to it?

maardvark / July 16, 2009 10:42 AM

"Poignant, insofar as it's the Standard Oil building. Amoco was the Willis of that era."

Nah. Standard Oil, the company, was renamed Amoco, so that name change was just to conform with the name of the company.

Guy Smiley / July 16, 2009 10:42 AM

Why didn't they rename a building in their hometown of London?

They did.

Guy Smiley / July 16, 2009 10:44 AM

Oops. I meant to paste this.

nana / July 16, 2009 10:57 AM

I just want credit for being the first to call it "big willy". I'm petty like that. But it will always be the Sears Tower to me. and Sox's Park is Comiskey. However, I look forward to a Ricketts Field. Or Consumptive Park.

B Knight / July 16, 2009 10:58 AM

True, they have named the Willis Building in London. I was unaware of this, Guy; thank you for mentioning it.

However, from what I've found, this is a newly-built skyscraper, named at the outset by Willis.

Ray / July 16, 2009 12:16 PM

I am one who still calls Ogilvie Northwestern Station, but I am on board with Wesley Willis Tower, except where my young nephew who was thrilled to go to the top of it last year is concerned. Around him it will always be the Sears Tower.

Dubi Kaufmann / July 16, 2009 12:35 PM

They should have changed it to the "Willis Center" or "Willis building" so it would not compete with the old name.
It worked for AON when they changed the "Amaco building" to "Aon center".

Spook / July 16, 2009 1:37 PM

I'm gonna call it the Suge Knight Building because its big, Black, impossing yet kinda useless, (as far as utilizing space goes) but it still has that star power from another era

Rachel / July 16, 2009 4:23 PM

a 12-year-old gets it...

Ramsin / July 16, 2009 6:43 PM

Suge Knight Building! Classic.

I still call the Standard Oil Building the Standard Oil Building, even though I'm pretty sure they changed that name when I was just a kid. We used to skate there and it was split between kids who called it the Amoco Building and the Standard Oil Building. I don't think anybody even knew it was called the Aon Center.

The reason I call it Standard Oil is because that's how I learned, not out of stubbornness. That urge will probably be even strong with the Sears. I mean, it's the Sears Tower.

Irisheyes1212 / July 17, 2009 9:39 AM

I think I'll come around to hearing the new name because that Sicilian dude cracks me up. But I will probably inadvertently still say Sears.

charlie / July 17, 2009 10:52 AM

I truly and honestly do not care one bit.

Leonard Grossman / July 17, 2009 12:39 PM

Hmmm. Reminds me of the infamous Willis Wagons used by Chicago Schools in the 60s to solve overcrowding. I would call it Little Willie but I don't think anyone will know what I mean.

(I confess, I sometimes call Macy's Macy's even though I swore it would always be Fields.)

PMan / July 17, 2009 2:17 PM

I probably will call it the Sears Tower out of habit most of the time, but I'm not upset about calling it the Willis Tower. Sears was a commercial concern that enjoyed publicity from the name when it paid the bills. Sears abandoned the building and now Willis, another commercial concern, deserves whatever it gets for its money. If the tower had been named for a heroic individual I might get upset about the renaming.

boxspring / July 17, 2009 2:57 PM

The more I think about it, I just want to call it "Carl." I think I'll start refering to all the landmark buildings in Chicago by anthropomorphic names. Navy Pier will now be called "Popeye" and the Tribune Tower looks like an "Ethel" to me.

Spook / July 17, 2009 3:15 PM

This is the perfect example of why I don't like liberals......

Hey Leonardo, even though I wasn't born then, I know that the Willis Wagons were not used to solve overcrowding, but in fact used to continue segregation in the CPS. But hey I'm sure you voted for Obama so its all good

mike / July 19, 2009 7:31 AM

I'll be calling it the "willie" tower, Chicago's largest phallus.

Brian / July 19, 2009 1:33 PM

The Standard Oil Building. Marshall Field's. Comiskey Park. First Chicago. Rosemont Horizon. Calumet Expressway. The Sears Tower.

Yep. It's still the Sears Tower to me.

Dennis Fritz / July 24, 2009 6:53 PM

Who cares what they call it--the Sears (Willis) Tower is a @#$% eyesore by any name. Chicago has so much beautiful architecture. What a shame we are best known for this boring, boxy, featureless piece of late-modernist junk.

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