Sears Tower Changes Name to Willis Tower

The 110-story skyscraper in Chicago has been known as the Sears Tower since it opened in 1973. It will now be called the Willis Tower. Willis Group Holdings is a London-based financial services company. It got the naming rights as part of an agreement to lease 140,000 square feet of space.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

You know, when I'm in Manhattan and notice the skyscraper that looms over Grand Central terminal, a thought goes through my mind - that's the Pan Am building. I still think of it that way, even though Pan Am Airlines went out of business years ago and the old building is called something else.

People may soon have the same experience with the giant black skyscraper that shoves its shoulders over the skyline of Chicago. As of today, it is known as Willis Tower. Willis is the name of the British insurance company that bought the naming rights to the Sears Tower. The company's CEO concedes it could take some time to win over Chicagoans to the new name. Public relations experts say it could take decades. Thirty-five thousand people have put their names on a Web site opposing this name change.

So it's in their honor that our last word in business today is Sears.

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