Before it was called the Willis Tower, the downtown Chicago landmark was known as the Sears Tower. And long before construction on the skyscraper was completed in 1973, Sears had another iconic tower in Chicago. It was part of the massive Sears Roebuck headquarters on the West Side. Much of the Sears site has been torn down and redeveloped in recent decades. It’s called Homan Square. But the tower remained empty and unused, until now.
Tuesday morning, Mayor Rahm Emanuel was on hand to reopen the newly developed tower, renamed the John D. and Alexandra C. Nichols Tower in honor of the longtime benefactors of the Homan Square Redevelopment. (The Nichols are also major contributors to WTTW.)