John Hancock Building Loses Its Name

by Andrew Hinkle, correspondent


Every day thousands of people walk the Magnificent Mile here in Chicago, and for years the John Hancock building with its modern X-frame design has been one of its famous landmarks. But as of February 12, the skyscraper is called by its street address: 875 North Michigan Ave.

The reason for the change of identity is the rights to the name, and this famous high-rise has been without a deal since 2013.

“In the case of the Hancock tower, the name has outlived John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance’s naming-rights agreement; the company’s most recent such deal expired in 2013,” wrote Danny Ecker of chicagobusiness.com.

by Ben Mast

In a follow-up to the story, writer for the Chicago Tribune Ryan Ori wrote, “Owners of the 100-story John Hancock Center said the building’s namesake, the insurance company that built the tower almost five decades ago, asked that its name and logos throughout the building’s interior be removed immediately.”

Standing at 1,127 feet, the building on 875 N Michigan Ave. overshadows Lake Michigan. According to worldatlas.com, it’s currently the 8th tallest building in the U.S.

In 2009, to the chagrin of some Chicagoans, the Sears Tower became the Willis after a name deal.

“I want to put an identity on this property that everyone in Chicago can be proud of,” said Stephen Hearn, President and CEO of Hearn Company. According to the same Tribune article, Hearn is one of those involved with the new naming deal as an investor.

Until that new identity is inevitably sold to the highest bidder, 875 North Michigan Ave is officially the skyscraper with no name.

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