Sears is more than a mail order store. Although bought out by K-Fart through the use of financial smoke and mirrors in my opinion, Sears was a Chicago legend. Julius Rosenwald and others built the catalog department store giant. In addition, Rosenwald was one of the most amazing philanthropists in history. Sears is a historic Chicago name, so the tallest building in Chicago was aptly identified. Therefore, I appreciated the message addressed Willis and illustrated in the Tribune "Taste of Chicago" on 3/13/2009. In a nutshell, word Mr. Plumeri, renaming an American icon with a British company's name is obviously beyond nauseating!
This power move goes beyond the renaming of Marshall Field. In Chicago, architectural namesakes are usually honored. The John Hancock is still 'the Hancock.' That insurance company built the Michigan Avenue icon remains its namesake and to this day. The Inland Steel Building is the same. The Steger Building is still aptly named. Wrigley is still Wrigley and Soldier Field is still Soldier field; so it goes. When Chicago names a significant architectural treasure, the Song Remains the Same. Now, Willis Holdings wants to spoil the soup.
You would think that a gentlemen, who live in the nation that made Led Zeppelin would not sink to such depths. This 'Yellow Submarine move' makes for nasty drama that may continue to submerge in Parliament. This dram deserves to take another course on the sweeter side of the Highlands. If Willis can afford the Sears, the question is what sort of ego runs that place? What sorts of loans or crackerbox palace is Willis Holdings? How leveraged is it?
How many times have we seen banks and investors expand a business based more upon smoke and mirrors, then reasonable adherence to GAAP? [General Acceptable Accounting Practices].
Why do we allow companies 'to PacMan up' the competition only to watch banks fail and Congress bail the bastards out? Why do we tolerate monopolies? Fiscal responsibility, anyone? Who really bought the building, any way. Who provided the mortgage? Does the Mortgagor have any clout?
Will Willis belly up and leave his legacy foisted upon Chicago's landscape? Who owned the Sears in the past? How can our nation preserve the namesakes of national landmark architecture? Willis did not build the Sears from the ground up? Should we really care? Or is this a property issue, where egos rule and residents drool? This reminds me of the Simon and Westfield Mall Saga. Do these so called brand names degrade local landmarks like Northbrook Court, Old Orchard, or Lincoln Towncenter?
Is this a ruse to create enough nausea? Is this a plan or intentional design to sell? This is like changing the name of Picadilly Circus to Ben Franklin Plaza. Just say no to ego! We can only hope that the bank that financed isn't Bank of America, Chase or Citibank. Of course, our illustrious legislators stifled the expansion of Illinois banks until FNB of Chicago among other icons simply merged into near oblivion. Crumpets anyone?