Hancock Name Safe!

Big John won't go the way of Big Willie

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Unless the Willis insurance people somehow get their hands on it, the John Hancock building's name is safe.

"Two executives at Golub & Co., the managing partner of the group that owns the building's commercial portions, say there is no name sale in the works," the Sun-Times reports.

"We have no intentions of doing anything," Executive Vice President Lee Golub told the paper. "We haven't even thought about that."

Score another one for the Hancock, always the iconic skyline mainstay the Sears Tower wanted to be but never quite (figuratively) measured up to.

The possible re-naming of the Hancock has apparently become a discussion topic on some architecture blogs in the wake of the Sears Tower re-naming.

Not that it wouldn't make some amount of sense.

"The John Hancock insurance firm, now part of Manulife Financial Corp., hasn't had much to do with the 100-story building since it sold it in 1998," the Sun-Times notes. "It doesn't even have an office there."

Maybe the Hancock's elegance is a cut above the Sears Tower - a building so beautiful it is beyond name-changing, even if it's named after an insurance company.

"Designed by renowned architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, JOHN HANCOCK CENTER has won numerous awards for its innovative and iconic style, including the Distinguished Architects 25-Year Award from the American Institute of Architects. The building's distinctive exterior cross-bracing eliminates the need for support beams, greatly increasing the amount of usable floor space," the building's website notes.

And in comparison to the now-Willis Tower, the Hancock has gotten even better.

Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

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