Many a preservationist feather was ruffled when the “Santa Fe” sign was taken off the top of the Railway Exchange Building and replaced with a big Motorola sign when Motorola Solutions moved into 224 South Michigan Avenue. Now the building two doors down is losing its heritage sign. The “BorgWarner” is coming off the former BorgWarner building. The permit says it all:
INSPECT EXISTING BORG WARNER SIGN LOCATED ON THE ROOF OF THE BUILDING. REMOVE/DISPOSE OF ANY AND ALL ITEMS TO BE FOUND DEFECTIVE AND REMOVE BORG WARNER SIGN AND ROOF SIGN STRUCTURE.
BorgWarner left Chicago for suburban Detroit back in 2005. Since then the building has been officially 200 South Michigan, and the BW sign superfluous.
This is the third sign to be removed from the Michigan Avenue streetwall in the history of this blog. The previously mentioned Santa Fe sign was the last one. Before that, the elaborate Torco Oil sign was removed from the Columbia College South Building.
You’ll remember that Motorola Solutions caused quite a public debate when it replaced the Santa Fe sign with “Motorola” in 2012. Just weeks ago Moto announced it would relocate hundreds of suburban workers to a West Loop skyscraper. Whether this will count as a headquarters move is still being debated. If it does, then an awful lot of time, energy, and angst was wasted fretting over the sign on to of 224 South Michigan. Perhaps it’s not too late to get the old “Santa Fe” sign back from the Illinois Railroad Museum.