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Tallest building in U.S. to be renamed
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10:38, July 16, 2009

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The Sears Tower in downtown Chicago, the tallest building in the United States, will be renamed Willis Tower on Thursday, it is reported in Chicago on Wednesday.

The London-based insurance brokerage Willis Group Holdings will make the name change official on Thursday with a ceremony in downtown Chicago.

Willis Group Holdings is leasing 140,000 square feet and moving500 employees to the building, which has been known as the Sears Tower since it was built.

The building is a 108-story, 1,450-foot (442 meters) skyscraper in Chicago. 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 City. Currently, Sears Tower is the tallest skyscraper in the United States, and the fifth-tallest freestanding structure in the world.

Although Sears' naming rights expired in 2003, the building has continued to be called the Sears Tower. However, in March 2009 Willis Group Holdings agreed to lease a large portion of the building and as part of the agreement obtained the building's naming rights.

Last month, owners announced a 350-million-U.S.-dollar greening effort, along with plans for a 50-story luxury hotel. For tourists, glass-bottomed enclosed balconies on the 103rd floor of the building were opened earlier this month.


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