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Whatchu Talkin’ Bout, Willis? No, REALLY. Whatchu Talkin’ Bout???

I am NOT happy.

Not happy at all. Yesterday, I was innocently checking on Twitter when I got terrible news. The Sears Tower, one of Chicago’s most famous icons/attractions/sources of pride, will be renamed this summer. Are you KIDDING me?

Chicagoans, say it with me: “NOT AGAIN!!!!”

Call me dramatic (it wouldn’t be the first time), but as a native here I feel violated. Again. There are certain things in life that you just count on, you know? Death, taxes, and the Sears Tower still being called the Sears Tower.

Willis Tower? Fuggeddaboutit.

I don’t give a rat’s patootie that the naming rights were up for grabs over the past couple of years. What about history? What about local pride? What about the fact that my 14-year-old used to refer to the Sears Tower as the “Serious Tower” and that won’t be nearly as funny when I tell it to his children some day if the building isn’t even called the Sears Tower???

The view from the top.

The view at the bottom.

It’s a travesty, I’m telling you.

Chicago’s landmarks are being branded and changed like nobody’s business, or somebody’s business, depending upon how you look at it. First, the Standard Oil Building was changed to the Amoco Building, and then…wth? Aon Center? Whaaaa?

Then, the New World Music Theatre was next to fall. It became the World Music Theatre, Tweeter Center, and now the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre. Who goes to concerts at a bank????

Before yesterday, there were two offenses even worse than the two I just mentioned. You know the White Sox? They used to play at Comiskey Park. Guess where they play now?

U.S. Cellular Field. I hate it…and I’m even a Cubs fan! Take another little piece of our hearts, Mr. Big Business.

The WORST one, though, hit closest to home with me. It was the day Macy’s took over Marshall Fields. I was sick. It’s bad enough that there are no more Marshall Fields stores in the Chicago-area malls, but the fact that the Macy’s company couldn’t find it in their ice-cold heart to NOT rename the State Street location and let it remain Marshall Fields made it so that I could no longer give any money to that company. The State Street Marshall Fields, as I will *always* refer to it, is a landmark. It is chock-full of history. The clocks are still there, outside. The world’s largest unbroken example of stained glass (1.6 million pieces) is on the ceiling in the cosmetics department.

The Walnut Room Restaurant is still famous for its fountain and giant Christmas tree. Fans of the store even maintain a website and are trying to bring the Marshall Fields name back. A visit to this grand store is bittersweet now; it’s hard to look at what has been there forever when the Macy’s name is slapped all over everything.



It’s a total violation of all that is right in Chicago.

What I want to know is, what’s next? The John Hancock Building? Navy Pier? Buckingham Fountain, for goodness sakes?

I say NO.

Who’s with me??

No matter what, still my sweet home Chicago.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • ThisFullHouse March 13, 2009, 1:44 pm

    I’ve never been and now maybe I wanna go and visit…um…whatever it’s called. It happens here in Jersey, too. The Garden State Arts Center was renamed to the PNC Arts Center because it was, you know, much prettier? UGH and FUGGEDDABOUTIT!!!

  • Shelli March 13, 2009, 1:57 pm

    I can’t bring myself to go to the top, but I hate to hear they are changing the name!

  • Nap Warden March 13, 2009, 2:36 pm

    Quite frankly, they can call it toast on a stick…I’m still calling it the Sear’s Tower. ‘Cause that’s what it is:P

  • Sue March 13, 2009, 2:43 pm

    I thought that was WRONG when I heard it on the news, too. Then again it was also wrong to rename ‘the Boston Garden’ the ‘Fleet center’ and now it is back to ‘the Garden’ again. Or the Gah-den as we Bostonians call it.

  • Melissa March 13, 2009, 3:23 pm

    I didn’t know about the Sears Tower change. But you know us Chicagoans…we’ll just continue to call it the Sears Tower.

    I’m so glad to hear of another person who is highly offened by Macy’s. I refuse to do business there, too. Seriously, Marshall Fields was a nicer store than Macy’s…why change the name?

  • Karyn March 13, 2009, 3:26 pm

    I must say, this is terrible! And I do agree that the re-naming of Field’s was the worst. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

  • Otter Thomas March 13, 2009, 4:02 pm

    This is one of the most terrible trends in marketing. It gets me mostly in sports with the renaming of arenas. The Sears Tower being renamed is just terrible.

  • Mom24 March 13, 2009, 4:22 pm

    I agree with you. However, in a world where parents are trying to auction off naming rights to their children, I think it’s a battle that’s already lost.

  • Anonymous March 14, 2009, 4:01 am

    …the city formerly known as Chicago…

  • Kat March 14, 2009, 7:34 am

    Rename a landmark? That ought to get the eejit of the week award AND should be forbidden.

  • michelle March 14, 2009, 12:28 pm

    i’ve heard that oprah is thinking about changing her name to jane … you guys just can’t catch a break! πŸ˜‰

  • The Microblogologist March 14, 2009, 10:16 pm

    I still can’t remember what the Rosemont Horizon is called now and so always have to ask if whatever concert is there or somewhere else! They need to leave the names the same for people like me who can’t remember this stuff to begin with!

  • Melisa with one S March 15, 2009, 4:39 pm

    This Full House: It'll ALWAYS be the Sears Tower. πŸ™‚ Come on over!

    Shelli: It's really not scary. Jim and I aren't crazy about heights but we were fine going up.

    Nap Warden: Me too, sister!

    Sue: I'm still hoping they won't change it in the first place, but if they do, maybe it'll get changed back…?

    Melissa & Karyn: Marshall Fields was TOTALLY nicer than Macy's. I hate going there now! So I don't! (in my mall. I still go to the one on State Street when I have visitors because it's so darn pretty. But I don't buy anything except Frangos)

    Otter Thomas: Sadly, it all comes down to the cash-o-la. πŸ™

    Stacey: Yep. See my comment to Otter Thomas.

    Anonymous: EEEK! Can you imagine? Which city will be the first one to get renamed by a company? Yikes!

    Kat: Yes! We need a law.

    Michelle: Ha! Good one. πŸ™‚

    Microblogologist: Rosemont Horizon is now the Allstate Arena, but I always confuse that with the Sears Centre, so I have to look it up too, each and every time. πŸ™‚

  • nonnasnonsense March 16, 2009, 4:30 am

    it sucks. should be banned. i think the sports stadiums are the worst too. bah humbug to all those stupid corporate sponsors.

  • Dea March 17, 2009, 10:34 pm

    At the VERY least, they could have put a nod to the history – something like, Willis’ Sears Tower…..it’s just disgusting….

    Though, Commiskey? With South Siders as they are – it works SO very well as The Cell. LOL!