Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sears Tower

Willis Tower, formerly named Sears Tower, is a 108-story 1,450 feet (442 m) skyscraper in Chicago, Illinois. At the time of
its completion in 1973 it was the tallest building in the world, surpassing the World Trade Center towers in New York.
Currently, Willis Tower is the tallest building in the United States and the fifth-tallest freestanding structure in the
world.

Although Sears' naming rights expired in 2003, the building continued to be called Sears Tower for several years. However,
in March 2009 London-based insurance broker Willis Group Holdings, Ltd., agreed to lease a portion of the building and
obtained the building's naming rights as part of the agreement. On July 16, 2009, at 10:00 am Central Time, the building
was officially renamed Willis Tower.In February 2009 the owners announced they are considering a plan to paint the
structure silver. The paint would "rebrand" the building and highlight its advances in energy efficiency. The estimated
cost is $50 million.

Since 2007 the building owners have been considering building a hotel adjacent to the building on the north side of
Jackson between Wacker and Franklin on the site of a plaza that is the entrance to tower's observation deck. The tower's
parking garage is beneath the plaza. Building owners say the second building was considered in the original design.
City zoning does not permit construction of such a tall tower there

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