It does not feel like too long ago that Chicagoans were told that the tallest skyscraper in the world, the Sears Tower, would be renamed. Nine years ago, the group that bought the Sears Tower renamed it to the Willis Tower.
Despite the name change, that majority of Chicagoans still refer to their prized building as the Sears Tower instead of the Willis Tower.
Now, Chicagoans must brace for another change. The Chicago Tribune reports that John Hancock Financial asked that the owners of the John Hancock Center remove its name and logo from the building immediately.
John Hancock Financial is a prominent, 150 year-old insurance company. While the company was previously the anchor tenant of John Hancock Center, hence its name, the company has not been a tenant in the building for years.
Originally designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merill, the 59 year-old building is home to offices, condors, shops, restaurants, a parking garage, and Chicago’s finest observatory that offers a 360-degree view of the city.
While the naming rights for the John Hancock Center expired in 2013, the group that owns the building, Hearn Co., has not cut a deal for its naming rights.
In a statement to the press, Stephen Hearn, president and Chief Executive Officer of Hearn Co. explains, “We have turned away a number of interested parties because we didn’t feel the name was appropriate for this iconic property. I want to put an identity on this property that everyone in Chicago can be proud of.”
Until Hearn Co. sells the naming rights, Chicagoans are left with one choice: call the building by it’s address, 875 N. Michigan Avenue.