The Sears Tower, the tallest building in Chicago and in the United States might be painted silver in the future to boost its image and gain new tenants. The owners want the outside to reflect the environmentally friendly changes that have been happening on the inside.
David Roeder of the Chicago Sun-Times writes:
A brighter look could draw fresh attention to the tower, which has struggled to hold tenants against newer generations of office buildings. Silver could figure into a broader effort to "rebrand" the building and highlight its advances in energy efficiency.
The cost of this paint job could be around $50 million (I assume they'd be using some kind of non-toxic, environmentally safe paint), but it sounds like there's not really any money in the budget for this kind of face lift. This might be a long way off, if it happens at all.
But if the Sears Tower - the most iconic building in the Windy City - might be changing colors, then I'd think that any of the other city's landmarks or buildings are up for a dye or tint discussion.
Here are a few of my color-changing suggestions:
Smurfit-Stone Building - The thing already looks like a giant tube of lipstick (or, yeah, like a middle finger aimed at the Indiana shoreline), so let's give the old boys at L'Oreal a shot at painting the Michigan Avenue building one of their patented colors like Wild Plum, Blushing Berry, or Red Rhapsody. Of course, the paint would have to reapplied several times a day and almost always after dinner.
John Hancock Center - Ever since the Sears Tower grabbed the Hancock's title as the tallest building in Chicago in 1973, the Hancock has been looking for revenge. If the Sears Tower goes silver, then the Hancock has to go gold. If the Sears Tower then goes gold, the Hancock must react with a diamond-encrusted facade.
Cloud Gate ("The Bean") - Paint it a swirl of yellow and white so it finally looks like a giant jelly bean. Only when people get close will they realize that it's actually representing the dreaded and disgusting Buttered Popcorn flavor by Jelly Belly, and that will be the end of tourists putting their dirty fingers all over Anish Kapoor's sculpture.
James R. Thompson Center - I'm thinking that the building that holds the offices of the governor and other Illinois state officials could show its true colors: alternating horizontal black and white stripes.
Northern Trust Bank Headquarters on La Salle Street - Forget a new paint job. Paste the entire building with hundred dollar bills given by the government through the bailout. Its employees and clients can just walk on past and grab a handful whenever they please.
All elevated trains - To mess with the aliens, paint all the CTA trains an electric green. I can hear a translated transmission from a million light years above now: "Captain Zook, let's forget about attacking the city they call Chicago. It's protected by dozens of huge Earth snakes. And what appears to be a giant tube of lipstick." Unfortunately, you'd have to think twice when someone tells you to take the green line.
Please feel free to add your own coloring suggestions for Chicago in the comments.