Chicago (AP) — 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.
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.