The Sears Tower was sold again.
Yet again, Chicago’s big old Willy just can’t seem to stay in a long-term relationship with a good owner. Been there.
The world’s twelfth largest building, The Sears Tower was controversially sold and renamed as the Willis Tower back in 2009, inciting the kind of Chicago anarchy normally reserved for Al Capone putting ketchup on Muddy Waters’ discography and feeding it to a billy goat.
We here in Chicago simply do not like to change our placards.
The Sears Tower will always be the Sears Tower in the minds of true Chicagoans.
Which is stupid because the Sears Tower was bought by the Blackstone Group. Which means someday we could be calling it the “Blackstone Tower.” Which is AWESOME.
Okay, guys, I see some of you grabbing your torches, pitchforks and Sox and Cubs-brand baseball bats, but hear me out. Was the “Sears Tower” ever that cool of a name? Sears is the place you go for splinters and half-assed bonding trips with your most Ron Swanson-like uncle; the name just doesn’t have the oomph that this downtown monolith of black steel and dark windows deserves.
Blackstone Tower is an objectively better name for Chicago’s coolest building. Hell, I think it’s a better name for any building. You could rename Wiener Circle to Blackstone Tower and I’d be first in line when it reopened. I’m probably going to name my first child Blackstone Tower.
Change is scary. I get it. But just this once I think we need to put nostalgia on the back burner and do what’s best for our city. As a bonus, this provides us with a lovely opportunity to re-label some of Chicago’s other famous landmarks.
Marshall Fields, for instance, has been trying to call itself Macy’s for some reason in the past couple of years. People still seem raw about this little labeling issue, so I propose we simply start calling the building “Ye Olde Bridal Sundry”. Seriously, nobody shops there unless they’re getting married and have a bunch of relatives to pay for everything. In the winter, we could also call it “Elf Prison”, due to all those Christmas elves they hold hostage in the windows each year.
Navy Pier simply needs to be called “Poseidon’s Middle Finger”. The entire area is a blatant offense to the laws of nature, a grand protrusion of man’s hubris into the icy hell that is Lake Michigan. It’s a miracle of engineering that Chicago’s Atlantis hasn’t been reclaiming by the thrashing, mercury-soaked waves of our nearest Great Lake. We need to give the place a name that reflects this defiance against nature. We should also call the Ferris Wheel the “Wheel of Amorous Relations”. Or perhaps, “The Eye”, but we can debate that name at a later time.
The Cloud Gate is already colloquially known as “The Bean” due to its decidedly bean-like shape, which is fine. But we need to be more consistent about these kinds of naming conventions. If we’re going to name things based on what they resemble, Trump Tower should be called “Dung Heap” and the Chicago Picasso should be called the “Goat-Shaped Godzilla-Spawn”.
Comiskey Park was demolished and renamed U.S. Cellular Field in 2003, which is a name that’s almost as stupid as Blackstone Tower is awesome. This cannot stand. I propose the park officially be renamed something more threatening to Chicago’s opposing sports teams, such as “Comiskey’s Revenge” or “The Hippodrome of Athletics and Fried Foods”. If we want something less esoteric, we could call it “The Drawer”. Get it? Because it’s where we keep all of our Sox! I’ll see myself out now…
Oh, and in the interest of fairness, Wrigley Field needs to be called the “Deadly Confines” henceforth.
What else needs a good renaming? Well, the Art Institute is already referred to as “That Place From Ferris Bueller” so we might as well make that official. Lincoln Park Zoo should be called “Animal Sadness Display”, the Shedd Aquarium should be called “Dolphins and Also Some Dumb Fish”, and the Fields Museum should be called “Portillo’s 2” to better reflect the spirit of the city it represents.
The EL should be renamed “Snowpiercer”. It’s the only appropriate term.
Once again, please remember, Chicago is a beautiful city with a storied past and I want to preserve that as much as anyone. But sometimes things have to change to keep up with the times. Nostalgia is a bitter drink with a sweet aftertaste; it satisfies but does not fill. And at some point, you must let the past stay the past.
So let’s please make the Blackstone Tower a reality.