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The Sears Tower, the tallest building in the U.S., has a new name as of today. It will now be called the Willis Tower, after the U.K. insurance company that got the naming rights along with a big committment to office space in the building.
As described in this Chicago Tribune editorial, the ceo of Willis knows people will still call it the Sears Tower. “They can call it whatever they want, even ‘The Big Willie,’ ” the exec, Joseph Plumeri, said. “All I know is that the day we announced that this building would be named Willis Tower, everybody in America knew who Willis was.”
Sometimes he’s hard to keep track of these name changes. I grew up next to the Brendan Byrne Arena, named after New Jersey governor who got the project started. Most people just called it the Meadowlands, which was what the swamp was previously called. Then it became the Conintental Airlines Arena, now it’s the Izod Arena.
I guess the message here is that real estate sticks with us, a lot longer than most companies.