How Not to Camouflage a Skyscraper

Bank of America sign at 135 South LaSalle

If you’ve been down La Salle Street in the last few days, you may have noticed this on the walls at number 135 South. They’re shiny metal plates covering up signs that read “Bank of America Building.”

The timing would suggest that they’re in place to confuse NATO protesters arriving in Chicago this week.  Sort of like a proverbial ostrich sticking its head in the sand to avoid danger: If the protesters can’t identify your building, they can’t trash it.  Bank of America must be under the impression that anarchists haven’t discovered Google Maps yet.

Even with these signs covered up, there are still other ways to tell.  For example, the giant Bank of America branch inside the building.  And the big “Bank of America Building” sign that’s above the entrance of the West Adams Street side.  Either BoA is hoping the protesters won’t look up, or the person in charge of covering up the signs failed to do the same.



Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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  1. Probably the main thing they are trying to do is deprive protesters and media nice images of people throwing junk at their sign. They figure that without the “photo op” of the sign in the background, it will be less interesting to all concerned. Probably some logic in that.

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  2. Editor

    Good thinking. I didn’t put that together. Like in Seattle this past May Day, the iconic image was vandals smashing in an American Apparel store. BoA doesn’t want to be part of the file footage that gets played for years and years.

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  3. My office building did the same thing with wood, and there’s no reason to believe that the building would be a target for protesters. I figured it was to deter people from damaging the sign itself.

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