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Photograph: Neal O'Bryan

8 new names for the building formerly known as the John Hancock Center

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

Yesterday the owners of the John Hancock Center announced that the building is looking for a new name. The Chicago Tribune reported that the building's namesake, the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co., has removed all of its logos and branding from the property, leaving the 100-story skyscraper nameless. Until the naming rights are sold, the home of the Signature Room and 360 CHICAGO observation deck will simply go by its address, 875 North Michigan Avenue.

While the powers that be search for someone with enough money to slap their name on the tower, we've come up with a few ideas: 

1. Chance the Tower

Last month Chance the Rapper expressed interest in buying a condo in the soon-to-be-redeveloped Tribune Tower. But why not move into a place that could be named after you?

2. The More Attractive Than Aon Center

Let's be honest: Of the two prominent Chicago buildings that refer to themselves as "centers," the one on Michigan Avenue is definitely better looking.

3. Cheesecake Factory Tiers

Since 1995, the basement of the John Hancock Center has hosted the spiral-bound menus and hearty portions of the Cheesecake Factory. Naming rights (and salted caramel cheesecake delivered to the Signature Room) seem like the next logical step.

4. The 💯

Does any other city in the world boast a 100-story tower named after an emoji? Let's be the first.

5. Poltergeist Pads

While the John Hancock Center served as the setting of the least memorable Poltergeist sequel, there's probably a considerable number of hardcore horror fans who'd love to live in (or visit) Chicago's spookiest spire.

6. The SpringerScraper

Back when Jerry Springer's eponymous talk show was being filmed in Chicago, the former politician was one of the most prominent residents of the John Hancock Center. He has a home in Evanston now, but he's probably got enough syndication money to buy the naming rights and install stripper poles in the observatory's Tilt attraction.

7. Heckla Highrise

Ray Heckla was the engineer responsible for the John Hancock Center's residential floors, and was also the first person to move into the building (before it was even completed!). With a name like Heckla, he deserves to be immortalized as part of the structure he helped get off the ground.

8. @ChiPartyAunt Memorial Tower

All of those Malört shots, Metra beers and lines of cocaine in the Leo Burnett Building are going to catch up with our favorite local Twitter celebrity soon enough. Let's all be proactive and pool our money to purchase the naming rights in her honor (or at least get them to rename the 44th-floor swimming pool that she's definitely snuck into on multiple occasions).

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