Friday, July 17, 2009

"What you talkin' bout, Willis?"

Another of America's urban icons has been given a name change. Chicago's Sears Tower is now "The Willis Tower."

(Insert your favorite "Different Strokes" joke here.)

The argument about architectural naming rights doesn't need to be repeated. I think most people understand the realities of our financially-driven culture, but long for a world where someone could build a massive tribute to human engineering genius and have the guts to name it "The Funkadelic Astro-Thunderdome" instead of "The Taco Bell Arena, brought to you by H&R Block."

It's not even that "Sears Tower" was such a great name in the first place. It was a commercial name as well. It's just that it feels like revisionist history to have to call it by some other name from now on. It's far from the most pressing issue of our time, but it is annoying.

On a more positive note, the (insert current sponsor) Tower just opened a new feature on it's observation deck: transparent glass "ledges" that let you step out over a 103-story vertical drop. It's pretty cool, in a masochistic kind of way.

Actually, people can call the tower whatever they want, as long as I can see stuff like this when I walk around the Loop.